If you do, you are not alone. They can be painful as well as a health risk. The main cause is dry skin. Inexpensive, and simple treatments help significantly. When we are young with moist skin, as we step on our heels, the fatty pads that cushion the heel bones squish out causing the skin to move with the expanded pad. As we age and our skin is no longer moist and pliable, the fatty pad still squishes, but the skin has become dry and rigid. Something has to give. Add pressure from increased body weight and the skin splits, causing a fissure. Next, bacteria enter the fissure creating an infection.
The first step for combating cracked heels requires exfoliating the dry skin by using a foot scrub or pumice stone. Merle Norman’s Pink Grapefruit Sugar Scrub is relaxing as well as exfoliating. This allows the moisturizer to penetrate to the new skin level keeping it pliable. If you are diabetic, avoid pumice stones and scrapers or anything that may create a tear in the skin. Taking hot, lengthy baths, contributes to dry skin. Shorten baths, use more temperate water, and apply moisturizer immediately.
I use Gloves in a Bottle to coat my feet in the morning because it seals in the moisture without leaving a greasy residue on my shoes. In the evening reapply moisturizer such as Merle Norman’s Pink Grapefruit Body Butter. Look for moisturizers that contact shea butter. Next, coat with a petroleum jelly or Merle Norman’s Super Lube (It smells better and has a few extra ingredients), and slip into 100% cotton socks for the evening.
Nancy Pride owns Morgan Fitzgerald’s and Merle Norman, located at 3800 S. Texas Avenue, one mile north of University Drive.