Sexy stilettos and fashionable footwear may look attractive, but the repeated pressure and friction caused by standing, walking, and dancing in ill-fitting shoes can cause heel calluses to form on the foot. Calluses are thickened areas of dead skin that build up to protect the heels against further wear and tear. Although heel calluses form to protect the skin, they can be uncomfortable. As it is almost impossible to avoid standing or walking, heel calluses can significantly impact on an individual’s wellbeing and enjoyment of life.
When it comes to heel calluses, you can take measures to prevent the problem but also treat when the issues does arise. To avoid heel calluses from developing, steer clear of shoes that have high heels or thin soles. Wear shoes that fit well and have soles that are thick enough to cushion your feet as you walk. Alternatively, there are inserts that can help shoes from slipping and creating friction on the skin. Inserts can prevent heel calluses by acting as shock absorbers. If you just can’t give up your killer heels, invest in some good inserts.
If you have already developed heel calluses, don’t despair. There are steps you can take to heal and nurture your feet.
Hardened skin can be softened by soaking the feet in warm water. For added benefit, add one cup of honey to a gallon of warm water. This natural antiseptic will reduce the chance of infection while soothing and softening dry skin.
Lemon juice can be used to soften and loosen dry, callused skin. Add half a cup of lemon juice to a basin of warm water and soak your feet for around 10 minutes. The natural acidity of the lemon juice will get to work on the hard skin on your feet.
A pumice stone can be used to remove thick, hardened skin from the heels. By rubbing on the heel with a wet pumice stone, you will remove the layers of dead skin. Pumice is often found in commercial foot treatments that are available for at home use. Formulas often combine physical exfoliators such as pumice powder with salicylic or glycolic acid to leave feet feeling smoother and softer.
An alternative way to remove the hard, dry skin from callused heels is by using an exfoliating treatment cream. The cream is left on the skin and gradually eliminates the dead cells that cause roughness.
After removing hard skin with a pumice stone or exfoliator, feet should be moisturized with a rich hydrating cream to replenish and protect the skin. Apply immediately after cleansing to seal in hydration and prevent cracking and dehydration.
For maximum benefit, apply a thick layer of moisturizing cream to the feet before retiring for the night and pull on a pair of thin cotton socks. The beneficial ingredients from the cream will be absorbed in to the dry skin during the night. When you awake, your feet will feeler considerably softer and wonderfully nourished.
A podiatrist may shave the hard skin on a heel callus. This is an approach best left to a trained professional. An individual should never use a sharp blade to remove a callus from her own foot. There is a high risk of cutting too deep and injuring the soft skin underneath the callus. Cutting the skin in this way can lead to infection.
While it can be hard to protect feet from everyday wear and tear, there are steps you can take to pamper and protect them, allowing you to stride out with confidence.