Cracked Heels: The 14 Day Cure
Serious Foot Care 101 with Rob Hardwicke, President and Product Master at Awakening Mineral Therapies for Healthy Skin.
“Hydrate and Heal.” That’s our mantra here at Awakening Mineral Skin Care. And that’s the simple key to curing dry, cracked, painful heels and feet. In fact, just getting your feet properly hydrated will relieve most of the pain you’re experiencing. The healing part is mostly about diligence and using high-quality products. We’ll get to that below.
Now, you may be wondering how you ended up with such painful, cracked heels and feet in the first place. After all, those big thick calluses should be acting like a layer of protection, right? Wrong (sorry). Many people don’t know that calluses – basically a thick layer of intensely dry skin – are really the source of painful, cracked feet and heels. This may come as a surprise. When I was a kid, we tried to walk around barefoot as much as possible so our feet would be immune to pebbles and sharp sticks. I guess we thought we were going to be like Hobbits or something.
As an adult, however, your skin changes. It doesn’t regenerate as quickly, and over time, if the dead skin cells of calluses remain on your feet without being removed, they can crack and split right down to the many nerve endings in your feet, becoming so painful you may have difficulty walking. Quite the opposite of those childhood fire-walking fantasies!
Fortunately, even the most painful, deeply cracked heels and feet are one of the easier skin conditions to cure completely. I have worked for many years creating natural, mineral-based skin care products powerful enough to send eczema and psoriasis—conditions people often seek pharmaceutical solutions for—running for cover. If you’re suffering from painful cracked heels, what follows will give you a step-by-step guide to curing them in two weeks or less, and will provide you with all the information you need to prevent them from ever coming back.
What you’ll need:
1. Dead Sea mineral salt crystals (Masada is an excellent brand and can be found at most large drug stores.)
2. Pumice stone
3. A square plastic dish-washing bucket (available at the supermarket for about $4). You can also use the bathtub, but you’ll need to up the amount of salts a bit.
4. A clean, dry towel
5. Sleep socks or other non-absorbent socks (do a search for “sleep socks” and you’ll find plenty of options for around $5)
6. High-quality mineral foot balm
Okay, here we go:
Every day in the morning and again before bed, soak your feet for 20 minutes in enough warm water to cover your feet, with a half-cup of the Dead Sea salt crystals added. Dead Sea mineral salts contain over 120 different naturally occurring minerals and have been known since ancient times to soothe and cure skin ailments of all kinds. Soaking in them also improves circulation, which will help those hurting dogs heal even faster. You might be tempted to use Epsom Salts for this treatment, but these are a chemically manufactured single mineral (magnesium sulfate), and although they will help somewhat, they won’t have nearly the effect that high-quality Dead Sea mineral salts will have.
After 10 minutes of soaking, begin to lightly rub the pumice stone back and forth or in small circles on the callused, cracked areas of your LEFT foot. Rubbing with a pumice stone may seem counterintuitive at first, because it’s painful there. But remember, the pain will almost always disappear once your feet are hydrated, and although there might be an area or two of pain, you certainly won’t be doing anything to increase it. The goal over the next couple of weeks is to get all that callused skin off. This can’t happen in one treatment, though, so we’re just trying to get a few layers off each time. Lightly work over the affected area for two minutes on your LEFT foot, then put it back in the water, and take out your RIGHT foot and repeat the same process. Go back and forth, LEFT to RIGHT, so you do each foot twice, then you’re done soaking.
NOTE: Don’t rinse your feet after soaking! The penetrating minerals in the Dead Sea Salts will continue to work their magic even after you take your feet out.
The Foot Balm
Okay. You’ve soaked. Now, take your LEFT foot out of the tub or the bucket you’ve been soaking your feet in, and plunk it down on the nice clean towel that’s on the floor in front of you. Then follow suit with the RIGHT. After toweling off, your feet may be somewhat prune-like in texture and appearance. In fact, some of you may have a little “déjà vu” moment and remember how when you were a kid, after being in the bath for 45 minutes, you’d sit there marveling at your weird, misshapen fingertips and toes. Ah, youth!
From there, apply a healthy dose of a high-quality mineral foot balm to your entire LEFT foot and wait one minute while keeping your foot airborne (or at least, off the ground). Apply another dose to your LEFT foot and wait another minute. Then apply a final dose only to the callused, cracked area of the LEFT foot. This, by the way, is where the magic happens. If you’re using a high-quality mineral foot balm, you’ll be getting TRUE hydration from potassium, which is the mineral responsible for keeping all the cells of your body properly hydrated, and magnesium, which is a natural healing agent present in over 300 biochemical reactions in your body. And when your skin is “open” as it is now after soaking, the healing power of these ingredients is increased dramatically, because they’re transported quickly to the deep layers of your skin. Once your feet are all healed, you’ll be able to just use the mineral foot balm on clean dry feet and get all the maintenance you’ll ever need. But for now, we’re in REPAIR mode, and it’s important to really maximize the effects, so you’re not doing this until next Christmas, okay? Good.
Now, follow suit with the RIGHT foot, and voilà—you’re done with the lotion-applying segment of our program. (By the way, some of you may be wondering why you need to do the LEFT foot first, then the RIGHT. The truth is, you don’t. We just felt like messing with you a little. ☺)
Okay, the next step is to put on the socks. These will help seal in the moisture you’ve just applied and speed the healing process dramatically. However, we understand that the socks might not be realistic. Maybe it’s summer and you’re wearing sandals or a nice pair of heels. Maybe you have an aversion to man-made fibers. Maybe you just hate socks.
Not to worry! Our marketing guy, David, had terrible cracked heels one summer, and he followed this entire program, including the socks at night, with amazing results. But David’s a Boulder, Colorado guy, who wears flip-flops from April to October, so the socks during the day were “Not an option.” His solution? “I just applied some FEET to the heel area of my leather Chaco flip flops and I kept my feet moisturized all day and even conditioned my Chacos!” David swears it’s the avocado oil in the ultra-potent mineral foot balm that we make, Awakening FEET, that was so good for his sandals. We’re not so sure, but we do know it’ll do amazing things for your cracked feet, as will the potassium, magnesium, and Vitamin E.
So after applying a foot balm like Awakening FEET, put on the socks (if you’re going that route) and get on with your day. If you’re not putting on the socks, wait an extra couple of minutes before putting on your shoes, to minimize rub-off (unless, of course, you’re “pulling a David”).
About mid-day, if you can, take 5 minutes and do one or two applications to each foot—that will really help to speed the healing along. This is more important if you’re not going to wear the socks during the day.
Then before bed, you repeat the process. And that’s basically it. Remember, though: If your feet are cracked and painful, you’ll need to follow this program aggressively for at least the first week. This means soaking AT LEAST twice a day, if not three times a day, and then applying three applications of mineral foot balm after each soak. Within a week, you should be 75% healed, and you’ll just need to continue until you’re 100%, at whatever “pace” makes sense to you. Oh, and one more thing: don’t be surprised if you get hooked on the evening ritual of soaking your feet before bed. It’s just about the nicest thing in the world you can do for yourself after a hard day!
[And even though we're talking about socks here, once your feet are back on the road to good health, these socks are the first thing you can toss away! With a concentrated mineral foot balm such as our Awakening FEET, there's no goopiness, so there's no longer any need to 'isolate' the feet from things (like sheets and floors) that they will come in contact with. The minerals and moisturizers absorb into the skin to form a silky barrier].
Once you’ve gotten rid of the calluses and your feet have been restored to their baby-like softness, you’ll need to be sure not to let them get back to where you started. This is a simple process. Just apply a small amount of mineral foot balm in the morning and again at night, and you’ll be good to go. And if you ever DO end up back in painful Callusville, you’ll know just what to do to get out of town fast!
This information is not intended to diagnose or treat any diseases or medical conditions. If you suffer from diabetes or a circulatory disorder that affects your feet, or if your feet are cracked to the point of bleeding, please seek medical advice before engaging in this or any other remedy for your feet.
To get you started on the right foot (sorry), click on the image below to pick up a bottle of Awakening FEET, our world renowned Dead Sea mineral foot cream. We still have a few bottles of our old formula left in stock, and it’s on sale!
Awakening Mineral Therapies has been hand-crafting unique Dead Sea mineral skin care products for over 15 years. For more information about this and other natural mineral-based skin care remedies, visit Awakening Skin Care at: www.awakeningskincare.com