Heal Cracked Feet Naturally
Dry, flaky skin specially on sensitive area like feet can be a nuisance. Cracked heels, also known as heel fissures, is a cosmetic problem which affects the outer epidermis of feet. This occurs when the skin on the bottom of the feet becomes dry, hard and flaky, sometimes resulting in cuts or wounds as well. This condition results in discomfort and pain and can even lead to infections.
With tons of skin care products available in the market, it can get confusing. There are creams, foot masques or scrubs available in the market to help deal with cracked heels but these may be comprised of harmful ingredients. If you wish to go natural, oils including essential oils provide a perfect alternative.
WHAT CAUSES CRACKED HEELS?
- Lack of Moisture is the most common cause of cracked heel. The skin around the heel is naturally dry, rough and gets easily chapped. Without proper moisturization and hydration, feet become extremely dry, thereby causing fissures.
- Standing for long hours creates pressure on feet which also causes cracks and fissures.
- Aging skin: With age, skin looses elasticity and becomes thicker, scalier and more prone to cracks.
- If proper Hygiene is not maintained, it leads to build of dead cells which can cause cracked heels
- Ill fitting shoes can cause aches, blisters and rubbing which can cause cracks to develop
HOW OILS HELP
High quality oils including essential oils, are easily absorbed by the skin making them ideal for treating tough skin on the heels and soles of the feet. They even tend to lock in moisture for longer periods, keeping skin moist and provides the much-needed nourishment.
BEST ESSENTIAL OILS FOR CRAKCED FEET
Peppermint Oil– Nourishes Feet
Peppermint essential oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids which are known to nourish skin. The menthol content in this oil helps to cool and soothe irritated skin. It also possesses mild antimicrobial activity and can help restore skin health.
Lavender Oil– Rejuvenates feet
Lavender Essential Oil is known to have regenerative, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. These can help treat many skin conditions and also speed up healing of wound and cuts.
Eucalyptus Oil – Heal cracked skin
Eucalyptus Essential Oil can help in removal of dead skin cells from the heels and soles. The antiseptic properties of this oil helps get rid of bacteria which causes cracked and painful heels. It also helps relieve blisters, soothe inflammation and makes skin soft and supple.
BEST CARRIER OILS FOR CRACKED FEET
Argan oil is loaded with Vitamin E which is rich in antioxidant properties. It contains essential fatty acids which help repair dead, lackluster skin and provides a protective coating over cracks or fissures. Argan oil is one of the best recommended oils during winter season
Coconut oil is known for healing dry and cracked feet. Massaging feet with coconut oil helps treat skin from peeling along with helping maintain texture of the skin. Coconut oil application is also known to prevent feet from fungal and bacterial infection.
Sweet almond oil is extremely light in texture. It slips easily in the skin and deeply penetrates tissues. It is rich in Vitamin A & E along with fatty acids. It is also known to treat any fungal infections over nails and feet.
HOW TO PREVENT CRACKED HEELS
- Drink plenty of water in order to avoid dehydration
- Avoid being on feet for longer duration
- Do not put too much weight on feet
- Use pumice stone once or twice a week as it helps remove dead skin cells and avoids skin thickening
- Moisturise your feet daily
RISK & SIDE EFFECTS
- Essential oils are only for external use and should never be ingested
- Store essential oils out of reach of children and store them apart from other products. Some essential oils can be fatal to pets and therefore always research before using them
- Essential oils must ALWAYS be diluted before applying on skin as they are highly concentrated as can cause irritation. You can dilute them in carrier oil of your choice and the max concentration of essential oils should be 3-4%
- Always do a patch test before applying on larger areas of skin
- It is unclear what effects essential oils have on pregnant and breastfeeding women. While some consider them safe, many doctors advice pregnant women to avoid use of essential oils
- Always buy pure essential oils and stay away from fake counterparts as they wont contain same therapeutic benefits
Having cracked heels not only looks unesthetic but is also painful and unpleasant. The problem could be seasonal or sometimes it can be constant. There is a wide range of medical means to treat cracked heels, but natural ways are just as effective. With lifestyle changes like drinking plenty of water and eating healthy food along with taking care of your feet, you can get rid of cracked heels.
Disclaimer: The information provided on this page is for informational and educational purposes. I am not a medical professional and highly recommend consulting a doctor before using essential oils as part of any medical treatment.