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What Is Heel Balm?

By Kelly Ferguson
Updated May 17, 2024
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Heel balm is a product applied to the heel of the foot to minimize the appearance and rough, cracked texture of calluses and dry skin patches. Most heel balm is primarily a moisturizer, while some include additional ingredients to exfoliate or even break down thick calluses and remove dead skin. Although, because of the name, this product seems specifically designed for use on the heels, many consumers also apply it to other areas of the feet, such as the pads on the balls of the feet, that are easily callused or become cracked.

Some users simply use heel balm to touch up the roughest and driest areas between pedicures so that their feet remain smooth and attractive. Other users' needs range from healing deep, painful cracks in the skin of the heels to treating some of the effects that diabetes can have on the feet. Diabetics should be cautious about the products they apply to their feet, as some may be, for example, too exfoliating or otherwise damaging to the feet, which can cause much larger problems.

Many brands of heel balm are available in stores or online for a wide range of prices. One common complaint about some heel balms is an unpleasant greasy texture. While a layer of greasy residue left on the feet can be annoying, it is also potentially dangerous if the user walks across tile or otherwise slippery floors, or even in sandals without socks. Another complaint about some brands of heel balm is that they simply do not work as well as other brands. Reading reviews from previous users can help potential buyers choose the best product for their needs and avoid both of these common issues.

Users who frequently apply heel balm recommend a few suggestions for maximizing the effectiveness of the product. Many people have good results applying the balm before bed and then sleeping with socks on to lock in the moisture overnight, while others use it as a quick touch-up to smooth the appearance of dry skin before putting on sandals. Some heel balm brands contain ingredients that give the product a strong odor, possibly making the balm more appealing to use at night rather than in the morning while getting ready for the day. Regardless of when it is applied, many users find that the balm works most effectively when used directly after the feet have been exfoliated.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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