Cracked heels, also referred to as heel fissures are a series of cracks appearing in the heels of both feet. They can be very painful and sensitive to heat and cold and occur in people of all ages. They occur due to lack of moisture, and there are several home remedies for cracked heels that give instant relief from the pain. Even standing for long hours, developing an allergy for soap, cold weather, keeping the feet wet most of the time can all cause cracked heels making it difficult to wear shoes and quite embarrassing when your feet are exposed.
Causes & Symptoms
- Causes: Being Allergic to soap, exposure to cold weather, exposure to water, standing for long hours.
- Symptoms: Red patches, skin peeling, itchiness, formation of cracks and blood oozing from the cracks.
10 Home Remedies For Cracked Heels And Dry Feet
While cracked heels are not a serious disorder, and can be easily cured, the discomfort and irritation caused can be intense. The good news is that there are several quick home remedies for cracked heels that give relief, and here are the 10 best such remedies:
10. Arjuna Plant (Terminalia Arjuna) Leaves & Milk
- Take a bunch of fresh Arjuna plant leaves and grind to a fine paste.
- Add the paste to a glass of warm cow’s milk. Mix well and drink.
- Repeat the process twice daily for a week or 10 days.
The Arjuna plant (Terminalia Arjuna), also known as the “guardian of the heart” or the White Marudah in English is a plant that belongs to the Combretaceae family. The Arjuna plant leaves contain calcium salts, magnesium, tannins, as well as glucosides. The leaves have excellent antibacterial properties in addition to being antimutagenic, thus preventing the spread of cracks caused by infection. The Arjuna plant leaves make one of the best home remedies for cracked heels.
Arjuna plant does not have any known side effects when consumed in moderation. If the dose is exceeded or there is prolonged usage it could affect the heart. Moreover, pregnant women should not be administered this remedy as it is not safe for them.
9. Black Mustard Leaves
- Take a bunch of black mustard leaves. Grind them to a fine paste. Apply the mustard leaf paste on the cracked heels. Let it sit for 2 to 3 hours.
- Wash with warm water and pat dry. Continue the process 2 to 3 times daily for a week.
Black mustard leaves are very rich in minerals like potassium, calcium, and phosphorus and have been used for treating dermatitis and other respiratory disorders successfully. Mustard leaves ensure the skin remains healthy as they are loaded with Vitamin A, C, and K along with folate. Black mustard leaves make an excellent home remedy for dry, cracked heels.
While using black mustards leaves as a poultice for the external application does not have any adverse side effects, when taken internally in large quantities it can cause damage to the throat and cause drowsiness.
8. Olive Oil
- Apply 2-3 teaspoons of virgin olive oil on the cracked heels.
- Allow it to sit for a couple of hours.
- Repeat the process 2-3 times daily for a week or so
Olive Oil (Olea europaea) belongs to the Oleaceae family and is loaded with benefits accruing out of anti-aging oxidants and hydrating squalene which makes this oil the best cure for cracked heels. It has been used as a lip scrub, remedy for removing earwax and as an antibacterial balm. The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of olive oil help cure the cracked heels quickly. Olive oil is a great natural treatment for cracked heels.
Olive oil is quite safe to use as an external application although it can cause mild allergic reactions or contact dermatitis. Hence, people with allergies should consult a doctor before using this remedy.
7. Gallnut (Chinese Gallnuts)
- Soak a handful of gallnuts in water and grind to a paste.
- Apply this paste on the cracked heels. Let it sit for a couple of hours.
- Repeat the process twice daily for a week or so.
Gallnuts, known as masikai in Tamil and mazhupal in Hindi are formed in Oak and Sumac trees and contain a high level of tannins that occur naturally and are known as gallotanin. The gallic acid content in gallotanin found in the gallnuts helps hasten the healing process. Gallnut is one of the best home remedies for cracked heels.
Gallnuts do not have any known side effects. However, they should be used in moderate quantities. Pregnant women should not be administered this remedy as there are chances of a miscarriage.
6. Indian Solanum Leaves & Linseed Oil
- Extract the juice of a bunch of Indian Solanum leaves.
- Heat 2-3 teaspoons of linseed oil in a pan. Add the Indian Solanum leaf juice. Allow the mixture to cool and apply on the cracked heels. Repeat the process two to three times daily for a week
Indian Solanum (Solanum Xanthocarpum) leaves, known as yellow berried nightshade in English have excellent antibacterial properties. The leaves contain carpersteral, glucoside-alkaloids, & solanocarpine. It also contains solamine-S and solanidine-S, which are alkaloids. Indian Solanum leaves make one of the best home remedies for cracked heels.
The leaves of the Indian Solanum do not have any adverse side effects. However, the fruits of this plant can be toxic and should be kept away from children.
5. DIY Cream (Brown Sugar + Honey + Lemon Juice)
- Take 2-3 teaspoons of brown sugar (cane sugar).
- Add 2 teaspoons of honey, 1 teaspoon of lemon juice & 1 teaspoon of olive oil to it. Mix well to make a paste. Apply this paste on the cracked heels.
- Continue the process twice daily for a week.
Applying this homemade DIY cream of brown sugar, honey, lemon juice and olive oil has a soothing effect on the cracked heels. The dead cells are removed, and the skin looks fresh. Brown sugar contains glycolic acid that is an excellent antibacterial agent. It is an alpha hydroxyl acid that gives new life to the skin around the heels. This DIY cream made of brown sugar and other additives is one of the best home remedies for cracked heels.
Brown sugar, honey, lemon juice and olive oil do not have any known side effects and are all safe to use.
4. Petroleum Jelly &+ Lemon Juice Foot Mask
- Take 1 teaspoon of petroleum jelly and a fresh lemon (cut in two halves).
- Extract the juice and add the petroleum jelly. Apply this mixture on the cracked heels.
- Repeat the process twice daily for 2 to 3 days.
Petroleum jelly is a by-product of petroleum and is an oil based emollient. As it is oil based, it creates a waterproof atmosphere around the cracks and prevents water from entering. The acidic nature of lemon juice acts as an effective exfoliate and helps remove the dead cells found in the cracked heels. Petroleum jelly and lemon juice together make one of the best natural remedies for cracked heels.
Both petroleum jelly and lemon juice are free of any side effects and have a soothing effect on the cracked heels.
3. Essential Oils Soak (Peppermint, Tea Tree, Eucalyptus, Lemon Oils)
- Take 3 to 4 drops of Peppermint Essential Oil, 3 to 4 drops of Tea Tree Oil, 3 to 4 drops of Eucalyptus Oil, 3 to 4 drops of Lemon Oil, and half a bucket of warm water.
- Add all the above oils to the water. Mix well and soak both feet for 30 minutes.
- Repeat the process twice daily for 2 to 3 days.
All the above mentioned essential oils help moisturize dry skin and help it regain its original texture. These oils have excellent antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties apart from antibacterial qualities which help in curing the infection causing the cracks in the heels. Essential oils soak is an excellent home remedy for cracked heels.
The above mentioned essential oils do not have any known side effects and are safe to use.
2. Turmeric And Honey
- Take 2 teaspoons of turmeric powder and 2 teaspoons of honey.
- Apply the paste on the cracked heels. Ensure that the cracks are filled with the paste.
- Repeat the process twice daily for a week.
Turmeric is a wonder spice that has amazing antiseptic properties. It also has excellent anti-fungal and antimicrobial properties that help cure the infection causing the cracks in the heels. Honey is also a known antiseptic agent that has amazing anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric and honey together make one of the best home remedies for cracked heels.
Turmeric does not have any side effects and is safe to use on children and adults alike. Honey also is safe to use on infants and adults.
1. Sesame Oil
- Take 2 teaspoons of Sesame oil and 1 teaspoon of castor oil.
- Mix both the oils. Apply the mixture on the cracked heels.
- Repeat the process two to three times daily for a week.
Sesame oil is a great natural moisturizer that helps keep the dry skin moist. It also acts as an emollient and helps the skin regain its original form and texture. Sesame oil contains Vitamin E, linolenic acid, stearic acids and palmitic acids that help in hastening the healing process. Sesame oil is one of the best home remedies for cracked heels.
Both sesame oil and castor oil do not have any side effects when applied topically and are safe.
See a doctor immediately if:
- The cracks become severe and are infected with pus.
- Walking becomes difficult, and the pain is too severe.
- There is a bad odor coming from the cracks.