Cracked, Dry Heels?
I have dry, cracked skin on my heels. I eat a healthy vegetarian diet and I scrub my heels with pumice to exfoliate the dead skin. Are the cracks a symptom of something else? Can you suggest a remedy?
Problem dry heels are just that: dry heels. They're a common occurrence, especially in dry climates, and may show up seasonally. I have a big problem with them here in the desert because the heel cracks can become very painful if dirt gets in them or if they become deep.
Typically, if you wear socks, you'll regain the moisture on your heels and the cracks will go away. But I like to go barefoot or wear sandals. So it's an ongoing battle.
The key consideration for problem dry heels is finding a way to keep the cracks clean. The first thing I've found that really works is Super glue (or any of the instant acrylic glues). It may sound crazy, but you just put a drop or two in and press the edges of the crack together. It seals the skin and allows the healing to take place very quickly, often overnight. This also works for cracked fingertips.
Another possibility is to go to a pedicurist and get some professional loving kindness directed at your feet. They do foot baths, scrape off the dead skin, and will even paint your toenails if you like that kind of thing.
You may also want to take steps to add as much moisture as you can to your heels and feet. Water alone will extract moisture when it evaporates from your skin; oil protects, but can't add moisture. So the best moisturizer combines both. Anything that stimulates circulation is also helpful; for example, a steam sauna with a cool water rinse between spells of heat.