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The cure for rough heels includes treatment, maintenance, and prevention. Treating the problem of dry, cracked heels is the first step to curing rough heels. Once the condition of the skin is brought under control, maintaining healthy skin on the feet keeps rough heels at bay. Using proper foot care methods to prevent rough patches from forming lowers the chance that the problem of rough, calloused heels will recur.
Treatments used in the cure for rough heels involve removing the dry patches and moisturizing the thick skin on heels that tends to get cracked and calloused. Removal of the rough heel skin can be done at home with a foot file, pumice stone, salt rub, or exfoliating product. Skin scraping tools are also effective on calloused heels but should be used with care since they can damage the bottom of the foot if used incorrectly. A podiatrist or pedicurist may be the safest route to smooth heels when the problem is severe and the skin is cracked or severely damaged. Dry skin removal can take time, so filing and buffing treatments may be performed regularly over a period of several days or weeks for a complete cure for rough heels.
After removing the dry skin, the next step in the cure for rough heels is moisturizing. Moisturizers come in many different forms including cream, lotion, and oil. Oils or oil-based creams are the most effective cure for rough heels because thicker oils and ointments tend to be better at penetrating the thick skin on heels. Lotions can also heal rough, dry heels but many contain alcohol, which may dry the skin more than it moistens.
Maintaining healthy, moisturized feet requires regular care and can prevent future bouts with rough, cracked heels. Treating the skin with an oil-based cream nightly is very effective for preserving smooth, soft heels. Wearing thick cotton socks to bed after moisturizing helps the skin absorb the moisture and protects bed linens. Applying a moisturizing oil to wet feet after a bath or shower is another way to keep moisture in and soften the thick skin on heels and balls of the feet.
Prevention is the last part of the cure for rough heels. Dry skin is the most common cause of rough or cracked heels, but the problem is also caused by ill-fitting shoes, standing for long periods of time, and going barefoot. Foot and heel problems can be prevented by always wearing shoes or socks and making sure shoes, especially backless shoes or sandals, fit properly and comfortably. It is also wise to wear supportive shoes during jobs or activities that require standing for long periods of time.