Cold winter months can leave you with rough, dry feet. Cracked heels (heel fissures) are a common foot condition that can cause significant pain and discomfort. If the cracks get too deep, they often lead to wounds that become infected. Why does this happen? It's a result of dry skin or an underlying disease such as psoriasis and eczema and is associated with thickened skin and sometimes even yellow or brown calluses around the heel edge. But don't fret, we're here to help! And softer skin is just a few steps away!
Follow these 5 steps to keep your feet soft, healthy, and feeling fabulous!
1. Keep them Clean: As with any part of your body, healthy feet start with cleanliness. While bathing, be sure to always wash your feet thoroughly with soap and water. After bathing, be sure to fully dry them, especially between each toe, as fungal organisms love moisture. Keeping your feet dry helps to lower the possibility of a fungal infection. Continue this by wearing clean, dry socks. Also, avoid sharing footwear, as wearing other people’s shoes can increase your odds of getting an infection.
2. Choose the Right Footwear: If you’re constantly dealing with cracked skin, it may be time to reevaluate your shoe collection. Certain kinds of shoes can aggravate feet and heels. Boots and high heels have little plastic inserts used to reinforce the heel cup and increase the support. Unfortunately, that can lead to unnecessary tightness and discomfort.
3. Follow a Routine: Try limiting time in a bath or shower to 5-10 minutes to avoid excessive loss of moisture. The best treatment for cracked heels is preventing them, which means daily moisturizing and weekly exfoliating. This is important in both cold and warm weather.
4. Moisturize: Contrary to popular belief, tools like pumice stones and foot files can cause cuts, bruises, and lacerations leading to infections. Using these items can cause the skin to become even more delicate, dry, and flaky. If you are a little too enthusiastic on your hardened feet, it may make them more tough and calloused, as the foot will believe it's suffering a trauma. The best option for cracked heels is moisturizing for at least 20 minutes every day.
5. Get Deep Treatment: If you're looking for a quick treatment with long-lasting results, try using a pair of NatraCure Moisturizing Socks or Gel Heel Sleeves to treat your feet! Our Non-Vented Heel Sleeves are best-suited for wearing while you sleep; our Vented Heel Sleeves are more breathable, perfect for daily use. Both products feature our SmartGel technology that slowly releases therapeutic oil and vitamins to treat and comfort your skin.
In Part 2 of this summer foot prep series, we will recommend our five favorite foot-friendly moisturizing products that will be a great complement to aforementioned tips. You’ll be on your way to have even softer, more nourished feet! So stay tuned...