Why Do I Have Cracked Heels?

Cracked heels can be the result of several things:

the way a person walks
poor circulation
a skin problem like eczema or psoriasis
fungal infection
nutritional deficiencies, especially omega-3 or zinc deficiency
Let’s see how to size up the situation.

Cracked Heels: The Cure Fits the Cause

Since cracked heels have a variety of causes, it is important to find the root of the problem.

The condition of skin often reflect internal health (or problems). Deficiencies of zinc, magnesium, and omega-3 can contribute to chronically cracked heels. I’ve seen this condition improve with dietary changes, such as adding fat-soluble vitamins and getting gelatin in the diet.

Personally, we take omega-3 supplements daily and make it a point to consume wild-caught fish to maintain omega-3 levels. Since zinc is important for men’s health, my husband also takes a zinc supplement regularly.

Externally, cracked heel causes can include skin conditions or fungal infections. Often these can be helped with regular detoxifying foot soaks or a concentrated salve.

As a general rule, I suggest trying any remedy for at least a few weeks to see if it is working. For best results, try external and internal approaches at the same time.

Cracked Heel Remedy #1: Diet

Consume enough zinc, magnesium and omega-3s in food or supplement form
Consume gelatin and vitamin C (which increases skin elasticity) to help reduce cracking
Optimize fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin D and vitamin K (found in grass-fed butter or supplements)
Consume foods like bone broth and organ meats
Drink more water and increase intake of trace minerals
Cracked Heel Remedy #2: A Little TLC

Exfoliate with a natural pumice stone or Ped Egg (looks like a cheese grater but it works)
Soak in detoxifying food baths or regular detox baths (here are my three favorite recipes)
Add ½ cup of apple cider vinegar to a warm foot soak
Use magnesium oil on the feet before bed
Use a homemade nourishing foot salve (see below) each morning and night
Exfoliate feet in the shower with natural foot scrub like my homemade peppermint magnesium foot scrub

Dry Brushing for Skin

This practice has been gaining popularity lately and with good reason. I’ve even noticed “dry brushing” as an offering on the menu at spas in hotels I stayed at recently. Dry Brushing has many potential benefits from smoother skin to helping with lymphatic drainage.

So what is it and why should you consider doing it?

Dry brushing is exactly what it sounds like… brushing the skin in a particular pattern with a dry brush, usually before showering.

In dry brushing, the skin is typically brushed toward the heart, starting at the feet and hands and brushing toward the chest.

Benefits of Dry Brushing

I’ve been dry brushing my skin for years, mostly because it feels great and makes my skin softer, but there are other benefits as well:

1. Lymphatic Support:

The lymphatic system is a major part of the body’s immune system. It is made up of organs and lymph nodes, ducts and vessels that transport lymph throughout the body. Many of these lymph vessels run just below the skin and proponents of dry brushing claim that brushing the skin regularly helps stimulate the normal lymph flow within the body and help the body detoxify itself naturally.

2. Exfoliation

This benefit is often noticed the first time a person dry brushes. The process of running a firm, natural bristled brush over the skin helps loosen and remove dead skin cells, naturally exfoliating skin. I noticed much softer skin in the first few days and weeks after I started dry brushing and my skin has stayed soft. Dry brushing is one of the simplest and most natural ways to exfoliate skin. I love this benefit of skin brushing and how soft my skin feels when I do this regularly!

3. Clean Pores (& Smaller Pores!)

The added benefit of exfoliating the skin, is clearing oil, dirt and residue from the pores. Using a specialized smaller gentler dry brush for the face, I notice that my face is softer and my pores are much less noticeable.

4. Cellulite Help

Though the evidence is anecdotal, I’ve found many accounts of people who claimed that regular dry brushing greatly helped their cellulite. I talked about this and my other cellulite remedies here. There isn’t much research to back the cellulite claims, but dry brushing feels great and makes skin softer, so there isn’t really any downside to trying it!

5. Natural Energy Boost

I can’t explain why but dry brushing always gives me a natural energy boost. For this reason, I wouldn’t recommend dry brushing at night but it is great in the morning. One theory is that because it increases circulation, it also increases energy. Either way, dry brushing is part of my morning routine.

I’ve shared before how I wash my face with oil and how that has been the best skin care routine I’ve ever used. Some readers commented that they still hadn’t found the right combination of oils for their skin type, so I wanted to share another natural face wash I recently found …

Honey …

Sound strange? So does cleansing your face with oil, but it turns out that they are both natural and effective ways to cleanse skin naturally.

Honey Face Mask (or Wash)

For this method, raw honey must be used. Raw honey has natural antibacterial properties and contains enzymes and probiotics that are good for skin. This method can be especially good for acne-prone skin as it doesn’t stop moisture from the skin but does reduce oils and bacteria. (Acne is usually in internal problem though, so it is important to look at diet too!)

Honey Face Wash – Simple and natural recipe that nourishes skin and helps fight acneHoney is gentler than soaps, which strip the skin of beneficial oils, and it gently nourishes skin. I know a local vet who has even used raw honey to speed skin healing on animals as it helps reduce bacteria and speed healing while protecting the skin from outside disturbances. This idea appears to have some scientific backing, as there are now medical-grade ointments (like this one) that use honey for wound and burn healing in humans.

What Kind of Honey

I’ve personally tried two different types of honey for facial cleansing:

Manuka honey
Raw organic honey
Both seem to work really well. Manuka honey is considered more cleansing and antibacterial (and has health benefits when used internally) but from what I found, either one works great for skin care (and raw honey is cheaper). I normally use a slightly lesser quality honey for face cleansing than I use with food. As long as a honey is raw and preferably organic, it is great for skin use.

Typically, I wash my face at night with the oil cleansing method since it also removes makeup, and use the honey face mask in the morning before showering. I keep a small jar of honey and a spoon on my bathroom counter for this purpose.

Bonus Ingredients

A friend of mine also recommended adding a tiny bit of vitamin C powder (which is also great for skin) to the honey face mask, along with some essential oils for extra antibacterial and acne-fighting power.

Since then, I’ve been experimenting with variations of this honey face mask and cleanser. Different variations seem to work for different skin types.

Personally, I mix a few drops of lavender and frankincense oils into the honey I keep in my bathroom. I also sometimes add a dash of cinnamon or vitamin C. I just spot test on my inner arm before trying anything new on my face and I recommend the same for anyone trying these DIY methods.

Page 2 of 3123