The root cause of cracking heels is the build up of dead skin cells, also known as calluses. Over time calluses can get thicker and thicker if not taken care of. Eventually, something will trigger a crack to start. Then the crack can worsen, split open, and get deeper. Bleeding and infection can occur, leaving your feet very tender and achy.
By occasionally removing the dead skin on your feet, you can prevent cracked heels. Plus, your feet will be touchable, soft, and healthy.
When you notice a significant callus build up on your heels, or other parts of your foot, take action to remove it. You can identify callus build up because the skin will be hard, rough, and will have a yellow tint.
1. Salicylic Acid
Salicylic acid is a great over the counter method to removing calluses. This acid is also used in treating acne and removing warts. It works on calluses by softening the skin in the applied area. Once it is softened, you can easily buffer it away with a pumice stone or rub it away with other method.
Salicylic treatments for calluses often come in gel or in pad form. If you are using the gel, place it on the callus and then cover it with a bandage. Do this several times a day. Usually it will not take longer than 12 hours for the skin to be sufficiently softened. The salicylic acid pads work in a similar way, except you will leave it on for the suggested time frame.
2. Using a Pumice Stone
There are a variety of products available to help you get rid of dead skin on your feet, but the most popular are pumice stones. This is because pumice stones are porous, meaning they have fine holes which exfoliate the skin.
Before using the pumice stone, soak your feet in warm water for 10 minutes, or take a shower. This will soften up the skin, and makes it easier to remove.
After you have soaked your feet, grab the pumice stone. Start rubbing back and forth or in circular motions on the callused areas. The dead skin cells should start to get buffered away. Once the layer of dead skin is gone, you should a see soft, pink, healthy layer of skin. If you have a really thick callus, it may take some time to remove. In these cases it is best to remove it in more than one session, over several days.
Do not apply too much pressure when using the pumice stone, you could end up hitting healthy skin. This can cause bleeding and infection.
3. Using a Ped-Egg
The Ped-Egg is new product that essentially does the same thing as a pumice stone. The design is similar to a cheese grater, and has a compartment to capture the dead skin flakes. Make sure you are only using it on dry skin. If your skin is wet or has lotion on it, the ped-egg could tear the skin, resulting in injury. So, it is best to use it prior to taking a shower.
To use it all you do is gently rub back and forth on the dead skin. Again, similar to a pumice stone, do not use too much pressure. You can flip the metal grate over, and the other side will have a more fine texture. This is good for smoothing out your feet. When you are finished, open up the ped-egg and inside will be white powder. This is your dead skin. To finish, rinse your feet off in the shower.
4. Electric Callus Remover
Pumice stones and the ped-egg can leave your arm sore from the back and forth motion. If you do not want this side effect you can get a electric callus remover. These are really handy, and will buffer away dead skin on your feet. If you are prone to getting calluses this device can be really convenient, and is a time saver.