Cracked heels are a common problem for people of all ages, especially during winter, but the pain and suffering can be managed with some simple home remedies, writes Alvin Thomas
The winter season in Oman lasts less than four months, but the “beautiful time of year” can often leave behind a trail of destruction on your skin. And this can take two to four weeks to completely heal.
However, the breakage of skin on your heels – commonly known as cracked feet – can take longer, since they are a part of your body that are exposed to the elements (floor, shoes, grass, etc.) and can repeatedly suffer damage.
To avoid suffering from cracked skin, it’s vital that you prepare the skin under your feet for the extreme dryness and cold – factors associated with the season.
Here are some tips you can follow to keep your feet clean and crack free:
Avoid walking barefoot
Use socks to protect your feet. It doesn’t matter if you’re using sandals or slippers; just throw on a pair of socks while going places. This can help your feet maintain an optimal temperature without the chance of causing cracks. If you’re already suffering from cracked feet, socks can help keep away debris, unwanted moisture, dust and other elements that can cause abrasions on your feet.
Wear the right shoes
Yes, your khaki sandals look retro, but it only provides as much protection to your feet as a paperback book would in a gunfight – literally. When the temperatures drop low, opt for shoes that make your feet cozy and warm.
The cold wind blowing outside shouldn’t affect the sensitive skin underneath your feet. If your feet are prone to injuries, wear shoes with soft insoles – like the walking shoe collection from Sketchers.
Use a moisturiser or exfoliate
Smear some moisturiser on your feet before you go to bed. No, really! It makes a world of difference, as it helps moisturise your feet and also helps trap the necessary moisture to keep your feet soft.
Caution: Do not walk on smooth tiles while wearing moisturiser. You’d be surprised by how slippery the floor can be.
Give your feet a break
Your feet can suffer from the stress received on a daily basis. Sometimes, it’s best just to kick back on a sofa and relax and, perhaps, let the cushions do the supporting for you.
Keep them clean
If you’re suffering from cracks, it’s important to keep your feet clean and safe. Blood can ooze out of these cracks and germs can lead to bacterial infection.
Apply lemon juice
Squeeze a lemon into a bucket of water. Now soak your feet in the lemon water for about 10 minutes. The acid in lemon can help dissolve dead skin and allow a fresh layer to form quickly. Use a foot brush to scrub your feet after soaking them.
Apply Vaseline directly over the dry feet to keep them moisturised.
Coconut oil has healing properties. The oil can nourish the feet and help accelerate the healing process.