Cracked heels are especially prevalent when feet are exposed through open-back shoes. The condition stems from untreated dry skin. Once feet are cracked, it is difficult to undo the damage with a simple foot lotion. Coconut oil is one of the treatment measures you can use to relieve cracks in your feet.
Coconut is often considered a "miracle" ingredient when it comes to skincare. However, its benefits for extremely dry skin are pretty straightforward. Not only does coconut oil help retain hydrating water on the skin's surface, but it also removes dead skin cells. On top of that, coconut oil can help strengthen tissues underneath the epidermis, celebrity nutritionist Kimberly Snyder tells the "Huffington Post." While this oil may provide your feet with the deep moisture they need, some people also choose coconut because of its tropical smell. The scent of coconut may be especially welcome during the summer months.
Coconut oil can be applied directly to the feet. An added benefit to coconut oil is that it goes a lot further than regular lotion. One spoonful is generally enough to cover your entire body. Since coconut oil has a greasy texture, make sure you don't walk barefoot until it is absorbed. For the best results, apply before bed and wear socks to seal in the moisture.
It is important to do your own research before buying coconut products for cracked heels. While pure versions are available in natural health stores, many drugstore products contain small amounts of the oil mixed with other ingredients. Shea butter, grapeseed extract and goat's milk are just a few examples. While added ingredients can help relieve dry skin too, read product labels carefully if you only want coconut oil. Some products can also contain alcohol, a known drying agent, which can actually worsen cracked heels.
Tips for Optimal Foot Health
Since dry skin can lead to cracked heels, consider measures to prevent excessive dryness in the first place. Coconut oil can be used in place of your regular foot lotion to prevent cracked heels; consider using it daily. The risk for dry feet increases when you walk barefoot or with open-back shoes, so consider moisturizing your feet twice a day during warmer months. See your doctor if the cracks on your feet become swollen or infected.