Camphor is an effective home remedy for cracked heels, says my mom

Cracked heels can cause discomfort and pain. So, try using camphor to treat cracked heels. It is an effective home remedy for cracked heels.
Use camphor to get rid of cracked heels. Image courtesy: Freepik
Natalia Ningthoujam Published: 15 Apr 2024, 10:30 am IST
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I have a colourful pair of shoes that is slightly small for my feet. I wore it for months even though I could feel the pressure on my heels. I did not give it much thought back then. But it was a big mistake on my part because months later, I had to deal with cracked heels. The skin on the bottom of my heel became dry and hard. Soaking my feet in warm water helped me a little bit. But then my mother gave me a magical idea! She told me to use camphor for cracked heels. My mom says camphor essential oil is an effective home remedy for cracked heels.

What are cracked heels?

Cracked heels, also known as heel fissures, are a common foot condition characterised by dry, flaky skin and deep fissures or cracks in the skin around the heels. These cracks can range from superficial to deep, and they may cause discomfort, pain, or bleeding in severe cases, says cosmetologist and skin expert Dr Jatin Mittal.

Dry skin can lead to cracked heels. Image courtesy: Freepik

What causes cracked heels?

Here are the common causes of cracked heels:

1. Dry skin

Cracked heels are mainly caused by dry skin, says the expert. The skin of the feet loses its elasticity and flexibility when it is too dry, causing cracks. Dry, cracked feet can be the result of not moisturising feet enough, especially after taking bath.

2. Ageing

Skin loses moisture and elasticity when we grow older. This is why moisturising feet with foot creams is very important, or you will have cracked heels, among other skin conditions.

3. Prolonged standing

Some of the jobs like teaching or front desk ones involve standing for long.
This can increase stress on the feet, and so, women may develop cracked heels. Even walking for a long duration can put pressure on your feet.

4. Ill-fitting shoes

It is not just the heels, but wearing ill-fitting shoes or shoes without enough support can put stress on your feet. They can compress your heels, leading to cracked skin.

Diabetes, thyroid problems, and skin conditions such as psoriasis or eczema can also increase the likelihood of cracked heels, says Dr Mittal.

How does camphor help to heal cracked heels?

There are DIY pedicure options for cracked heels, but you can also try camphor, which is a natural substance derived from the wood of camphor trees. It has been used for its various medicinal properties, including its ability to soothe and heal skin conditions. According to a 2015 study published in the Phytotherapy Research, camphor can help in wound healing, and can be used as an antiwrinkle agent.

Here’s how camphor can be used for cracked heels:

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  • Camphor makes the skin hydrated, so it may help soften the hardened skin on the heels and reduce the severity of cracks.
  • Camphor reduces inflammation and redness around cracked heels. This can provide relief from pain and discomfort associated with this skin condition.
  • Camphor can stimulate blood circulation when applied topically.
  • Camphor has a cooling and soothing effect on the skin, which can help alleviate itching and discomfort associated with cracked heels.

How to use camphor to get rid of cracked heels?

You can use camphor essential oil to do away with cracked heels.

1. Dilute it

Camphor essential oil can irritate the skin if used undiluted. Mix a few drops of camphor essential oil with a carrier oil such as coconut oil, olive oil, or almond oil. A general guideline is to use about 5 to 10 drops of camphor essential oil per ounce of carrier oil, says the expert.

Use camphor essential oil for cracked heels. Image courtesy: Freepik

2. Soak your feet

Before applying the oil mixture, soak your feet in warm, soapy water for about 10 to 15 minutes to soften your skin. This will make it easier for the oil to penetrate and moisturise the cracked heels.

3. Dry your feet

After soaking your feet, pat them dry with a clean towel. Make sure to thoroughly dry the area between your toes to prevent moisture buildup, which can contribute to fungal infections.

4. Apply the oil mixture

Take a small amount of the diluted camphor oil mixture and gently massage it onto the cracked heels and surrounding areas. Focus on massaging the oil into the cracks to ensure thorough coverage.

5. Wear socks

After applying the oil, put on a pair of clean cotton socks to lock in moisture and allow the oil to penetrate the skin. Leave the socks on while sleeping for maximum benefit.

6. Do it regularly

For best results, repeat this process daily until you notice an improvement in your cracked heels. Consistency is key to effectively moisturising and healing your skin.

For mild to moderate cases of cracked heels, applying the mixture once daily is typically sufficient, says the expert. It is best to apply the mixture before bedtime, allowing it to work overnight.

Camphor essential oil is generally safe for topical use, it is essential to watch for any signs of irritation or allergic reactions. Also, excessive use can lead to side effects such as skin irritation, nausea or vomiting and headache.

Natalia Ningthoujam

Natalia Ningthoujam has written on various subjects - from music to films and fashion to lifestyle - as a journalist in her career that started in 2010. After getting stories from the crime scene, police headquarters, and conducting interviews with celebrities, she is now writing on health and wellness which has become her focus area. ...Read More

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