Cracked and hardened heels are a source of discomfort and embarrassment for many African women. Although common, this issue is not inevitable. Various factors contribute to this problem, but there are also several solutions to help you achieve soft and smooth heels.

Causes of Cracked and Hardened Heels:

The causes of cracked and hardened heels vary from genetics to the environment and the use of harsh external products:

Genetic factors: A genetic predisposition can weaken the skin on the heels and make it more prone to cracks and dryness.

Dry skin: Lack of hydration is the main cause of cracked heels. Dry air, wearing closed shoes, and using harsh soaps can worsen dryness.

Friction and pressure: Wearing ill-fitting shoes, high heels, or shoes with a stiff back can create friction and excessive pressure on the heels, promoting calluses and cracks.

Nutritional deficiencies: A deficiency in vitamins A and E, which are essential for skin health, can weaken the heels and make them more susceptible to external aggressions.

Practical Solutions for Smooth Heels:

Now that you know the problem and its causes, here’s what you can do to overcome this daily discomfort:

Daily hydration: Apply a rich and nourishing moisturizer to your heels morning and night, focusing on the driest areas. You can use shea butter or coconut oil.

Regular and gentle exfoliation: Remove dead skin cells and calluses twice a week at most using a gentle scrub or fine-grained scrub or a loofah.

Relaxing foot baths: Give your feet a warm water bath with a few drops of lavender or chamomile essential oil to relax and deeply hydrate them. You can also do a foot bath with baking soda (if you are not allergic) as it helps remove dead skin cells and soften the skin. Moisturize your heels right after.

Wear appropriate shoes: Choose comfortable and breathable shoes made of leather or natural materials. Avoid high heels and shoes with stiff backs and interiors that weaken the heels.

Healthy and balanced diet: Eat fruits and vegetables rich in vitamins A and E to maintain healthy and hydrated skin. You can also apply vitamin E to your heels to nourish them.

Traditional Remedies for Soft Heels:

Honey and banana mask: Mix a mashed banana with a tablespoon of honey and apply to your heels. Leave on for 20 minutes before rinsing with warm water.

Olive oil wrap: Apply olive oil generously to your heels and put on cotton socks overnight. Leave on until morning.

Lemon compress: Rub your heels with a halved lemon (if your skin can tolerate it) to remove dead skin and brighten the skin.

Apple cider vinegar foot bath: Dilute apple cider vinegar in warm water and soak your feet for 15 minutes.

Aloe vera gel: Apply aloe vera gel to your heels for 30 minutes. Aloe vera can also help in this case as it is a natural moisturizer that soothes and softens the skin.

Yogurt mask: A plain yogurt mask is also beneficial for the heels. It will help soften and smooth the skin of the heels after 15 to 20 minutes of application 1 to 2 times a week.

Additional Tips:

Avoid pumice stones:
Although pumice stones can temporarily smooth the heels, they can also irritate the skin and make it more susceptible to cracks in the long run.

Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated from the inside out.

Consult a dermatologist: If the cracks are deep and painful, it is important to consult a dermatologist for proper treatment.

By adopting a daily hydration routine, gently and regularly exfoliating your heels, and choosing appropriate shoes, you can achieve soft and smooth heels. Don’t hesitate to try traditional remedies to enjoy their natural benefits. Remember to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

Important: Filing your heels can harden them in the long run.

Yes, the skin on your heels is naturally thicker than the rest of your body. However, filing your heels removes the top layer of skin, which can make them more sensitive and prone to cracking. In response to this aggression, the skin may thicken further to protect itself, becoming even harder. So if you do file your heels, do it gently and sparingly, and use a fine grit.

If the cracks are deep and painful, it is important to consult a dermatologist for proper treatment.

With all these tips and tricks, you are now well equipped, dear women, to effectively fight against these heel fissures !

Pélagie Blewussi

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