These can be painful and unsightly, and are caused by the skin drying out, where the pressure on the heel causes the dry skin to split as it does not have the elasticity to stretch.
This can happen when the weather warms and we are wearing sandals more, and dehydration may also contribute to it. Repeated exposure to water (swimming pools) and standing on hard surfaces can also contribute. Recurrent problems can be from a fungal infection, or hypothyroidism so see a Health Professional if you are having ongoing problems.
What you can do:
Keep your fluids up- it’s hard to have moist skin when you are not drinking enough water. When sweating a lot in hot weather you may also need electrolytes in your water to increase absorption. You can do this by adding a pinch of salt to your water, or you can get electrolyte drops from the health shop. Beware some electrolyte drinks have a large amount of sugar in them which is not ideal.
After showers or baths use a pumice stone or similar to remove dead skin, and then moisturise afterwards.
Use a thick moisturising heel balm, apply at bedtime and wear socks. There are over the counter options, and they generally have Urea, Lanolin, Petroleum jelly or a combination of these. For a natural option use Lanolin, Oils like coconut or avocado, or Butters like Cocoa or Shea butter.
Remedies to consider
Calc Fluor tissue salts – this is used for elasticity and should help in all cases of cracked skin and can be taken four times daily
Graphites – deep cracks that bleed, skin is dry and unhealthy looking, and also prone to cracking in skin folds between toes or fingers. There may also be fungal toe or toenail infections and offensive foot odour, and cracks may ooze a honey like liquid.
Lycopodium – deep and painful cracks on the heels, there may be itching or sweating feet. Lycopodium also often has gut related issues like bloating and indigestion.
Petroleum – more associated with winter cracks, the skin is dry and rough and cracks easily- not just heels but other parts of the body also. They can also be prone to skin infections or chilblains.
Sulphur – cracked skin with itching and burning. Itching worse at night, for scratching and washing or getting wet generally makes the itching worse.
There are many other remedies that also have cracked heels, and taking into account the whole person is always the best way to find the right homeopathic remedy. If you have chronic or recurring cracked heels then you may wish to make an appointment to address the underlying issues – send me a message and we can go from there.