Extremely dry, cracked heels plague many individuals who are diabetic, overweight or spend long periods of time on their feet. Other risk factors include dry skin due to climate, unhealthy skin due to disease, dehydration, vitamin deficiencies and mineral deficiencies. While not harmful, deep fissures cause significant pain and may bleed. Infection is a risk. A daily foot care routine that includes thoroughly cleaning and moisturizing the feet will prevent extremely dry, cracked heels. For those who suffer, the remedy for extremely dry, cracked heels is as close as the kitchen.
In a small bowl, mix one teaspoon of petroleum jelly with the juice of one lemon. Use plain shortening in place of the petroleum jelly if preferred. Other moisturizing oils such as jojoba oil, avocado oil and almond oil also work as a remedy for extremely dry, cracked heels. Do not add lemon juice to these oils. Thoroughly wash and dry both feet. Fill a large bowl with 1 gallon of warm water. Add one cup of honey, a natural humectant, to the warm water and mix until the honey is dissolved. Place the bowl of moisturizing mixture within reach. Sit down and place feet in the bowl of honey water. Soak extremely dry, cracked heels for 15 minutes. Thoroughly pat the feet dry, paying special attention to crevices and skin between the toes. Improperly dried feet lead to the development of bacteria, causing infection. Gently rub calluses and dry skin away with a pumice stone.
Apply the preferred moisturizing mixture to the entire foot. Make sure to rub the foot moisturizing mixture into the heel fissures. Add another layer of mixture to the extremely dry, cracked heel area. Put on a pair of white cotton socks, the thicker the better. Leave the socks on overnight. Cotton allows the skin to breathe. The dyes from colored socks may further irritate the heel fissures. The moisturizing mixture will soak into the dry, cracked skin of the heel. Repeat the process daily until the heel fissures heal. After they have healed, continue to check feet daily for signs of dry or cracked skin. Clean and moisturize feet daily.
Extremely dry, cracked heels also result from vitamin deficiencies, mineral deficiencies and dehydration. It is important for any remedy for dry, cracked heels to include a dietary approach. Eat foods rich in vitamin A, vitamin E, calcium, iron, zinc and omega 3 fatty acids to assist the healing process of heel fissures. Drink plenty of water. Foods rich in vitamins A and E include carrots, cereals, green vegetables, vegetable oils, whole-grain breads and nuts. Broccoli, cheese, milk and yogurt are sources of calcium. Chicken, fish and red meats are all good sources of iron. Foods rich in zinc include brown rice, chicken, kidney beans, pasta and yogurt. Fish and flaxseed oil easily provide omega-3 fatty acids to a daily diet.