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Remedies for Cracked Skin on the Heels

Remedies for Cracked Skin on the Heels Remedies for Cracked Skin on the Heels Remedies for Cracked Skin on the Heels

According to "Skin Physiology, Irritants, Dry Skin and Moisturizers," a report by Christina Marino, MD, MPH, when chemicals adversely affect the layers of lipids, or fatty molecules that help trap water, moisture escapes and leaves the skin dry. Your skin's outer layer, or stratum corneum, shrinks, and the shrinkage leads to cracks, reports University of Iowa's Hospital and Clinics. Remedies for cracked heels work to maintain lipid layers, which results in a smoother stratum corneum.

Oil

Apply olive or almond oil to damp heels, so that the oil seals the water into your skin. Water influences the shape of lipids. Repelled by water, the hydrophobic ends of lipids arrange themselves in a structure that allows the ends to face away from water. Due to their ability to rearrange themselves, lipids compel water molecules to surround the fatty molecules, according to "Molecular Biology of The Cell." As a result, lipids aid in the retention of water molecules in the skin's top layer. The University of Iowa notes that ointment moisturizers have a greater ability than creams or lotions to trap moisture in the skin. Discuss any treatment with your physician prior to using a remedy if you have skin cracks that bleed or a medical condition such as hypothyroidism.

Loofah

In "How to Wash Your Face," Barney J. Kenet, M.D., writes that dry skin may be the result of the slowdown in the way the skin sheds. You may wish to use a loofah to abrade the buildup of hard, stiff cells before you apply oil or ointment to damp heels. Unless cleaned properly, a loofah sponge becomes a nest for bacteria, however. Kenet recommends soaking the sponge in 1 part bleach to 10 parts water every two weeks if you use the sponge. Do not attempt to exfoliate without your physician's approval if you have diabetes. If you have suffered nerve damage, you may not realize that you have injured your foot, warns the American Diabetes Association.

Shoes

Because skin cells in the stratum corneum are dead, you cannot heal cells in the outermost layer. By wearing well-fitting shoes, you can reduce the chance of developing new cracks in your heels, while fresh skin cells rise from the epidermis. Gently massage ointment into your heels if you have aging skin, which may have fewer lipids than that of younger skin.

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