The appearance of your skin, including the skin on your feet, is a reflection of what’s going on internally with your health. Dry, cracked heels are an indication that your body is out of balance, not an indication that you need an expensive foot cream or a pedicure. Dry, cracked heels are a very common problem that can be embarrassing and unsightly. Fortunately, the following remedies will result in smooth, happy, healthy feet.
12 remedies for dry, cracked heels:
1. Nutrient deficiencies, specifically essential fatty acid (EFA) deficiencies and lack of quality fats in the diet, is often the No. 1 culprit of dry, cracked heels. Other common nutrient deficiencies that can also contribute to dry, cracked heels include zinc, vitamins A and B deficiencies.
2. Start with your diet. Increase daily intake of healthy fats including coconut oil, pastured butter, grass-fed meats, fatty fish (sardines with the bones, wild salmon), extra virgin olive oil, egg yolks, avocado, nuts and seeds. Supplement with only high-quality EFAs that includes GLA such as EFA Sirt Supreme, a blend of DHA, EPA and GLA. Prevent dehydration and drink plenty of clean (nonfluoridated, nonchloridated) water daily.
3. Dry, cracked heels (and toenail fungus) can be linked to yeast overgrowth, Candida, fungal and bacterial infections. If this is the case, the infection must be addressed and treated properly, and prioritize attention on healing the gut.
4. Eczema, psoriasis, athlete’s foot, thyroid disorders, pre-diabetes and diabetes, and kidney disease can also cause cracked heels. It’s important to identify the root cause.
5. Dry brush your feet including the bottoms prior to showering. Use a pumice stone, loofah or soft brush every day before showering to gently exfoliate the top layers of dead skin.
6. If fungus is the problem, heal the gut. Soaking feet in warm water with 1/2 cup raw apple cider vinegar, 1/4 cup baking soda, 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide and 1/4 cup magnesium oil or 1 cup Epsom salts for 10-15 minutes two to three times per week can be very helpful for toenail fungus. Add 30-50 drops of liquid iodine forte and either 4-5 drops tea tree oil or 4-5 drops of oregano oil. Dry feet thoroughly afterward.
7. Moisturize your feet. Before bed, rub a mixture of coconut oil, raw shea butter or castor oil, a few of sprays of magnesium oil, aloe vera gel and a couple of drops of lavender or myrrh oil into your feet. Wear a pair of light socks. If a fungal infection is the root cause, add liquid iodine forte, tea tree or oregano oil to the mixture.
8. Exfoliate feet with a mixture of sea salt, baking soda, coconut oil and your favorite essential oil (frankincense, calendula, lavender, myrrh).
9. Do you experience tired, achy feet? Soak them in a foot bath with a few drops of peppermint oil combined with apple cider vinegar, baking soda and Epsom salts or magnesium oil to relieve and relax tired, worn feet. Dry thoroughly and massage feet with coconut oil, olive oil or castor oil and a few drops of peppermint essential oil. Topical aloe vera, jojoba oil and vitamin E also have excellent soothing, healing and moisturizing properties.
10. Enjoy a reflexology massage. There are reflex areas on the feet that correspond to every limb, organ and gland of the body. When pressure is applied to these specific points, it stimulates the corresponding limb, organ or gland.
11. Foot roll out with self-myofascial release. Stand on an avocado pit or golf ball as you apply gentle pressure on the tender trigger points of your feet to release knots, tight and tangled fascia, and restricted and blocked energy.
12. Keep your feet and nails groomed. Be aware of nail salons that do not practice proper hygiene and disinfection techniques to avoid bacterial infections.
Apply the above remedies consistently and in just five to six weeks you’ll notice a drastic improvement in the appearance of your heels.
• Paula Owens, M.S., is the author of “The Power of 4” and “Fat Loss Revolution.” An Ahwatukee resident for 22 years, she is a leading expert in nutrition, functional health, fitness and fat loss with more than 20 years of experience. For more information, visit www.PaulaOwens.com.