Winter Care for the Heels

By Shahnaz Husain

Among winter problems, cracked heels are very common. The cold dry weather not only causes depletion of moisture, but also hampers proper blood circulation to the extremities. The skin on the heels is harder and thicker than most other parts of the body. Loss of moisture causes the living cells to change into dead horny cells. Therefore, there is a build-up of dead cells. If the lack of moisture proceeds unchecked, cracks develop on the heels and may even extend beyond the dead cells, causing pain.

Cracked heels can be prevented by giving the feet daily care, by way of massaging the skin with creams and protecting them from the cold, dry air. The problem can also be tackled with proper foot care.

Before bathing, apply a lemon-turmeric cream on the feet and heels, massaging it into the skin. This not only softens the skin, but also protects it from the drying effects of soap and chlorinated water. Turmeric has antiseptic properties too and thus provides protection from infections.

Aloe Vera is a powerful moisturizer and also has healing properties. It specially helps the skin on the heels. It repairs the cracks on the heels and makes the skin soft and smooth. Apply aloe vera gel daily on the feet and heels, washing off after 15 minutes.

At night, before retiring, soak the feet in hot water for about 20 minutes. Add some coarse salt and shampoo to the water, before soaking the feet. Hot water helps to soften the dead skin on the heels. With the help of a pumice stone or a heel scrubber, rub the heels gently, in order to remove the dead cells. If there is any pain, avoid using a metal scrubber. After washing the feet, massage with a good cream, rubbing it into the skin. Take a rich moisturizing cream or Vaseline and apply it generously on the heels. Bandage the heels with cheesecloth, or cotton wool and surgical gauze, and then wear cotton socks and go to sleep. This way, the cream will remain on the heels and not get on to the bedclothes. Keeping the heels smeared with cream all night will soften the skin and replenish moisture loss. Repeat this every night for at least 5 days or till the skin on the heels improves. Special medicated preparations for the heels are also available.

About Shahnaz Husain

 Shahnaz Husain, pioneer of the Ayurvedic beauty movement, heads the Shahnaz Husain Group, with a global network of franchise ventures and 375 Ayurvedic formulations. A Case Study at Harvard for Brand Creation, she is now a Harvard Subject for “Emerging Markets” She was honoured with the Padma Shri Award and is the first woman in 105 years to receive the World’s Greatest Woman Entrepreneur Award from Success, the U.S. business magazine. Indeed, Shahnaz Husain is a leading international beauty icon.

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