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Cracked heels are common

Cracked heels are common
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Don’t worry that you’ve somehow mistreated your feet because your heels are dry and cracked. “Dry heels – aka xerosis – is very common in the feet and heels because they’re constantly under pressure from shoes and walking,” says podiatrist, Dr Emily Splichal. She adds that cracked heels tend to appear more often during the summer, as feet spend more time exposed and in sandals. “Without proper exfoliation and hydration, the rate of callus or dry heel formation can accelerate,” she says. And of course, if you wear high heels, they do a number on your feet.

Use creams designed for the feet

Use creams designed for the feet
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A regular daily body moisturiser is not going to do enough to benefit cracked heels. Podiatrist, Dr Jacqueline Sutera recommends using creams that are specially formulated for tougher foot skin, including amlactin and kerasal. “These have gentle but effective acids that help break down the callous a little at a time,” she says.

Learn how to stay on your feet despite corns, calluses and cracked heels.

Look for key ingredients

Look for key ingredients
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If you’re battling cracked heels, you’ll need to slather moisturiser on your feet daily. Another option is a multitasking product that contains urea, lactic acid, or salicylic acid.

Try a peel

Try a peel
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The cult favourite, Baby Foot Exfoliant Foot Peel, contains lactic and glycolic acids to deeply exfoliate feet. In fact, if you catch a glimpse of the impressive photos, you’ll see that it causes feet to peel in a big way. Dr Splichal gives it the okay if you want to try it, but she recommends testing a small area first before using it all over your feet.

Check out these tricks for naturally glowing skin (no makeup or expensive products required!).

File away rough patches

File away rough patches
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You can help the smoothing process along with a foot file, says Dr Sutera, who recommends using it one to two times per week when you’re in the first stages of treating cracks. “Remember to go in one direction and not back and forth, which can rip up skin more,” she says. You can use a manual file or battery-operated one to gently buff away dead skin.

Replace foot files regularly

Replace foot files regularly
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The tools you use on your feet should remain yours and yours alone – don’t share them with family, advises Dr Sutera. She also recommends cleaning and drying them thoroughly after using and replacing them every two to three months. Another hygiene tip, “If you get a pedicure, bring your own tools,” she says.

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Soften at night

Soften at night
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Waking up with softer feet is possible, says Dr Splichal. Her tried-and-true method is to apply foot moisturiser and wrap your feet with a silicone gel wrap designed for heels. (You can also use plastic wrap.) Put on socks and sleep. Your feet will feel better in the morning, but it may take several weeks of treatment for severely dry and cracked heels to recover, she says. “Treating heels consistently is the most important thing,” she says.

Don't forget post-shower

Don't forget post-shower
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After you step out of your morning shower, head for the tub of Vaseline. “It’s a sealant, which locks in the moisture the skin absorbs in the shower,” says Dr Splichal. If it’s a pre-bed shower, you can then wrap your feet in plastic wrap (or use the heel wraps).

When you need more help

When you need more help
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Sometimes, there’s only so much you can do yourself before you need to call in a professional. “If the cracks are not improving or they are worsening or bleeding, seek help from your podiatrist,” says Dr Sutera. And if you have poor circulation, diabetes, or another chronic condition that weakens your immunity, you shouldn’t treat your feet at home. In this case, see a doctor.

Find our what you should never do to your skin, according to dermatologists.

How to prevent heel cracks

How to prevent heel cracks
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“There is no permanent cure for cracks,” says Dr Sutera. Your best hope is to moisturise daily, gently file your feet, and treat them as needed.

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Source: RD.com

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