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Q: chronic cracked heels ( Answered,   6 Comments )
Subject: chronic cracked heels
Category: Health > Conditions and Diseases
Asked by: lean-ga
List Price: $15.00
Posted: 27 Sep 2002 00:26 PDT
Expires: 27 Oct 2002 00:26 PDT
Question ID: 69628
For many years I have suffered from severely cracked heels.
I have tried several remedies.  
Pumicing.  Applying a variety of ointments.  Soaking my feet in hot
baths.  Wrapping my feet in plastic at bed time, etc.
I have many allergies, including aloe and lanolin.  Also all nuts and
legumes.  I purchased a hot wax dip.  It claims to be unscented, but
irritates me, also.
The razor type shavers for calluses frighten me.  My heels crack
deeply and bleed on thier own, without me shaving them down to raw
Could you come up with a remedy for me?  This condition is painful and
I do smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol.  I know that these habits
dehydrate my body.  I also suffer from exema.
I need a treatment that I am not allergic to.
Please help.
Subject: Re: chronic cracked heels
Answered By: johnny_phoenix-ga on 27 Sep 2002 02:35 PDT
Hello, as a fellow sufferer of xeorosis, i can sympathise
wholeheartedly with your plight.

Like yourself, I do not help matters by smoking and drinking. However,
i don't think that my condition is quite as bad as yours from the
sound of it.

Anyhow, there is no right or wrong answer for this query since the old
adage "Horses for Courses" is certainly relevant. I tried several
different things before i found something that worked for me.

My Cure
Mine was luckily relatively simple, i started applying a moisturiser
to my feet, once in the morning, once just before bed. The first few
weeks it seemed to be doing nothing but since the person that had
advised me had warned thatthis would be the case i proceeded. Anyhow,
after a few weeks of repeating the same regime, i noticed that my feet
were actually getting better. The thick dead skin started to flake off
gradually and because the moistureiser had worked its way between the
cracks it had hydrated the skin underneath. I still get occassional
flaked skin but because i keep it moisturised it doesn't get a chance
to build up into hard skin and crack.

I didn't use any particular "one" moisturiser, i used nivea, oil of
ulay, even hand cream when i ran out of the other stuff.

The trick is not to look for an instant cure but something that will
break the hard skin down over a longer period and prevent it building
up again. Sometimes the simplest cures are indeed best.

Various other cures/treatments.
As i said before, horses for courses, so my cure might not work for
you or you may have already tried it. Therefore i have had a look
around for other cures that have worked for other people. All you can
do is give each one a reasonable try and see if any work.

Herbal remedies
This site has six different treatments to try, and most of the
ingredients should be available in your local health food or herbal

Commercial Cures
This firm sells various foot baths and equipment, but it seems quite
expensive so i couldn't really recommend it since its a lot of money
to pay out if it doesn't work. However, i  have posted the link
because its not for me to decide whether you want to try it or not.

This site indicates that if you wear an open back shoe or sandals, you
should look at your choice of footwear and decide between fashion and

Online Cream
This site sells a specially formulated cream containing tea tree oil,
which they brag can even repair severe heel cracking, again there are
probably similar products available and you would definitely have to
try them to see whether they would work for you.

The condition can be caused by bad circulation as well as dehydration
so, regular exercise can help circulatory problems and can't do any

A friend of mine.......
Lastly a friend of mine found that putting a teaspoon of baking powder
in each shoe or sock (your preference) had a strange effect, it was a
cure passed down to him by his grandmother. He found that once his
feet began to sweat they reacted with the baking powder and his feet
felt "slimey", it wasn't uncomfortable, just a little "icky". Anyway,
he did this for about a week and said that all the hard and dry skin
on his feet had broken down and flaked off.
Now anytime he starts to get a build up, he repeats the excercise, but
because he keeps on top of it, he rarely has to do it more than once
or twice a month.

That worked for him but i could personally only try it once, because
it does really make your feet feel slimey and i didn't enjoy the

I hope that one of the above at least can help alleviate your problem

Johnny Phoenix.
Subject: Re: chronic cracked heels
From: seedy-ga on 27 Sep 2002 02:45 PDT

Sorry to hear about your problem. A good moisturizer with "non
allergenic" properties is U-Lactin (lanolin free)

Subject: Re: chronic cracked heels
From: answerfinder-ga on 27 Sep 2002 03:23 PDT states:
Prolonged standing 
Open backed shoes can be a contributing factor. 
Surgery to the lower extremities. 
Heel Spurs 
Mal-aligment of the metatarsal bones (the bone structure of the sole of the foot) 
Flat Feet and high arched feet 
Abnormalities of gait (walking) 
Using excessively hot water is a contributing factor. 
Eczema and psoriases can also be contributing factors."

Perhaps this list may help you identify the cause.
Subject: Re: chronic cracked heels
From: insideinfo-ga on 27 Sep 2002 04:23 PDT
The answer seems to be on the money and I like the persistence issue.
Sometimes treatment does not seem to be doing anything at first or not
to the needed amount.

I would advice in addition to consult a doctor if you have not. It
sounds like you might have, with knowing about exema but you might
want to have a physical. Ask the doctor about the cracking feet and
see what he/she prescribes. They might prescribe some ointment or
treatment you have not considered. You might also have a condtion that
makes this worse which needs treatement. I know many people with
diabetes often have cracking skin problems. It often is one of the
first realized conditions. Something to do with blood sugar levels and
its' affect on the body. Listen to your body, it might be asking for
more help and diagnosis.

Subject: Re: chronic cracked heels
From: missy-ga on 27 Sep 2002 10:07 PDT
Hi Lean,

I hope you don't mind a couple recommendations:

Burt's Bees Hand Salve

Burt's Bees Carrot Nutritive Body Lotion

Rub the hand salve generously into your feet just before bed, and slip
on a pair of plain cotton socks.  In the morning, use the lotion just
after you step out of the shower or bath.  I use these myself for my
own abused feet, and the results are very nice - no more cracked
callouses, and the salve and lotion are very soothing.

The hand salve is also a lovely help for eczema - it soothes the
itching (thanks to comfrey and eucalyptus extracts) and softens the
skin (thanks to vitamin E).

Feel better soon!

Subject: Re: chronic cracked heels
From: voila-ga on 27 Sep 2002 11:09 PDT
Hi lean,

In addition to these other suggestions, here's a list of derm products
addressing dry skin in general:
 You might want to shop around for the best price on these products.

If yours is an especially stubborn case, you might have to step up the
process with a prescription cream like Carmol 40 which contains 40%

Who would have thought cracked heels would be such a popular topic,
but I guess we all got 'em. ;-)

Happy hoofin' to ya!
Subject: Re: chronic cracked heels
From: tlspiegel-ga on 28 Sep 2002 22:57 PDT
Hi Lean,

I must add my .39cents... get thee to a Sally Beauty Supply Store and
purchase a very inexpensive product that works and works immediately. 
You'll need to use a bit of "elbow grease" (firm pressure massage) but
the dry flaky skin will roll away magically.

The product sells for about $4.00 and the 8 fl. oz. will last you for
years.  It's called "PERFECT FEET" - Peppermint Sloughing Lotion. 
It's terrific for your feet, hands, elbows and knees, and I also use
it on my face once a week or so.

You'll need an amount the size of a quarter - the less you use the
better it works.  With firm pressure massage until dry skin rolls
away.  Rinse off excess.  Your feet will feel soft, smooth and
refreshed.  There are NO harsh abrasives, nothing that will irritate
your skin.  I've used this for years and it's amazing how well it
works.  Better than any sloughing creams that sell in the stores.

I also recommend Cold Cream.  Yes, I said Cold Cream.  You don't need
an expensive brand.  After bathing and lightly drying your feet, put a
generous amount on your feet and cover with thick socks.  If you want
to alternate with something else use Vaseline.

Good Luck to you,


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