Do you have dry and Cracked Heels?

I know that it is winter but I have had several people ask me if I knew how to resolve dry and cracked heels.  I have been doing some investigating and have come up with several solutions you can do at home.  The key is dedication and perseverance but with a little bit of work on a regular basis you can have your feet looking and feeling fantastic ready for the lighter months.

Did you know that the feet contain over 72,000 nerve endings?  They are the most used (and neglected) parts of our body, some of us are on our feet for hours on end.  One of the first steps towards having beautiful feet is to set aside a beauty regime for them similar to the ones we have for our face and hands, it doesn’t have to take a lot of time

Lemon, salt, glycerine, rosewater foot mask

This foot mask is absolutely perfect beauty regime for cracked heels.

Rose water is a by-product of making essential oils and contains a lot of the active constituents from the rose petals themselves and is not the smelly mushy mess you get from being a child and attempting to make perfume.  It would be worth investing in some which can be purchased from aromatherapists online or from amazon/eBay.  The glycerine can be purchased from your local Boots shop as can the Epsom salts

Take a basin of warm water in which you’ll be dipping your feet and add sea salt or Epsom salts, the fresh juice from a lemon and a couple of dessertspoons of glycerine and rose water.  Soak in your feet for about 15-20 minutes in this water.

Using a pumice stone and scrub your heels and sides of the feet.

Take 1tsp undiluted glycerine, 1 tsp rose water and 1tsp lemon juice and after mixing, apply over your cracked heels. Since this will be a sticky mixture, you can wear a pair of socks and leave on overnight.

Wash off with lukewarm water in the morning.

Repeat until heels are soft and healed.

Oil

Dry skin on the heels is one of the foremost reasons behind the cracking. This helps combat this dry skin.

After washing your feet and cleaning and drying them up completely, apply a layer of oil on the cracked parts of your feet.

Wear a pair of thick socks and leave overnight.

In the morning you may not have to wash this off as vegetable based oils can be fully absorbed by our skin.  If there is any reside left over wash off and repeat for a few days to get smooth feet.

You can do this with vegetable oil, olive oil or even sesame oil.  Virgin olive oil is one of the most natural ways to get smooth soft healthy heels.  Sesame oil is also a great cracked heels solution for feet.

Banana and avocado foot mask

Don’t throw away your bananas when they get too ripe.  Take the pulp of a ripe banana and apply over cracked parts of the heel and feet.

Keep on for about 10 minutes and wash off.

You can also create a foot mask at home using a ripe banana and avocado:

Take a ripe banana and half an avocado.  Blend everything in a blender together.

Apply this thick creamy paste over your heels and feet.

As avocados and coconut are rich in several essential oils and vitamins and fats, this paste will help to resolve cracked feet and keep them soft and moisturised.

Vaseline and lemon juice

Vaseline is petroleum based and therefore acts like a barrier cream/salve.

Clean and dry your heels. Once all the dirt is out, soak your feet in warm water for about 15-20 minutes. Rinse and pumice your feet, rinsing again afterwards.

Apply the juice of a lemon to your feet, then take 1tsp Vaseline and rub this mixture over your heels and other cracked parts of the foot. Rub this in nicely, till it gets absorbed in the skin.

Apply this mixture before going to bed and keep on overnight, wearing a pair of woollen socks, as these socks help trap body heat and increase the effectiveness of the mixture.

Wash off in the morning

Honey

Honey is great to moisturise your feet and has great antibacterial properties.

Mix one cup of honey to half a bucket of warm water.

Soak your feet for about 15-20 minutes.  Or even just cover your feet in honey as a foot mask, leave on for half an hour – put your feet up on a towel and you can enjoy a TV programme whilst you are pampering your feet.

Scrub off gently for soft and supple feet, repeat once a week until feet are lovely and smooth.

Rice Flour

Make this scrub that’s great for exfoliating your feet.

Take 2-3 tbsps of ground rice (you can grind you own rice using a food processor or pestle and mortar) and add a few spoons of honey and apple cider vinegar to make a thick paste.

If your heels are extremely dry and cracked, add a spoon of olive oil or sweet almond oil.

Soak your feet in warm water for 10 minutes and gently scrub it with this paste to remove dead skin from your feet – the rice flour acts as an exfoliator similar to a pumice stone.

Oatmeal

Take 1 tablespoon powdered oatmeal and some oil to make a thick paste.

Apply this over your feet, especially well over the heels and any cracked parts.

Leave this on your heels for about half an hour and rinse off with cold water. Pat dry.

Do this every alternate day to remove all cracks.

You don’t have to do these all at once.  Pick the option which will fit into your lifestyle the best and implement it.  You can always try the others if at first you don’t succeed, but the key is to show your feet the tender loving care they deserve J

Psoriasis Awareness Week

This week is National Psoriasis Awareness week and I have been posting about this condition on my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/HerbsForHealthAndWellbeingLtd as well as tweeting lifestyle tips and techniques on my Twitter account: https://twitter.com/GrimsbyHerbalUK

I would like to write about this condition in a bit more detail.  Herbal medicine is effective at managing psoriasis which is where skin completes its cycle in a few days instead of taking a month and therefore scales or plaques of skin occur usually around the elbows, ears, knees, legs, scalp and lower back.  The skin condition is usually symmetrical in appearance and can also affect finger nails causing them to be pitted and cracked.  Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin condition where the bodies inflammatory response doesn’t resolve naturally.  There is a hereditary link with 10-30% of family members having psoriasis, sufferers may have had an emotional event prior to psoriasis occurring and there is also a possible link to allergies or intolerances which may trigger a psoriasis outbreak.  Doctors do not know why people experience this skin condition.

Modern medicine approaches treatment by giving anti-inflammatories including steroids, as a herbalist this condition is approached in a radically different way treating each person individually as their events, symptoms and there effects on their life will be completely different despite the condition being the same.  A consultation investigates possible immunological issues as well as looks for links between the skin symptoms and events deep in the body.

Skin diseases can be seen as signals of inner toxicity and indicate the need to cleanse the body and assess which toxins may have been aggravating the situation.  If it is deemed that the immune system is a factor in psoriasis then the digestive system should be closely assessed and several elimination diets completed to determine which foods cause an inflammatory response in the person.

People who suffer with psoriasis may have low levels of the mineral bromine and should also look at their levels of Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Selenium and Zinc.  As a herbalist I can offer a quick and easy zinc test to determine if you are deficient.

There has been success reducing itching and redness of psoriasis by having regular oat baths.  Take a cup full of rolled oats and place in a muslin bag or an old pair of tights and when running your bath allow the water to run into the oats to create a sumptuous milky bath similar to Cleopatra’s in her day 🙂 When taking these baths on a regular basis the psoriasis can even reduce or clear up.

When looking at diet it would be worthwhile reducing (and even excluding) the levels of sugar, yeast containing foods and all refined carbohydrates as these usually aggravate psoriasis and contribute to inflammatory states.  Excluding dairy would also be worthwhile trialling for at least a month to see if the condition improves.  Introduce more oily fish, pumpkin seeds and apple cider vinegar to your diet.  Why not try dandelion root coffee – a bitter caffeine free drink which helps to support the body especially in cases of psoriasis?

Try to reduce the amount of fried food you consume, reduce sweets and pastries, sausages, alcohol, caffeine and foods containing artificial colours and preservatives.  A study found that psoriasis flare ups can be caused by artificially coloured or flavoured foods.

If you have any questions about this condition or how herbal medicine can help to support you in managing your psoriasis please do not hesitate to contact me on: http://www.herbsforhealthandwellbeing.co.uk/how-to-contact-a-herbalist-in-grimsby.html