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It is quite common for us to take care of our face and other body parts while ignoring our heels. Neglecting to take care of the heels would cause certain issues for you in the future. Skincare professionals however know that proper care of the heels is equally important as caring for other skin parts. And one generally recommended way to achieve this is the use of a heel cream. A heel cream can work in a preventive or curative measure. But like we all know, prevention is better than cure.
In this buying guide, we would explain to you what happens when you fail to take care of your heels. We would also tell you what a heel cream does for you. Then we would guide you on how you can choose a good heel cream that would properly care for your heels. Then we’ll wrap it up by giving you tips on how to use your heel cream and other ways to take care of your heels. We’re sure after reading this buying guide, you’ll be eager to take proper care of your heels. Shall we begin?
What Happens When You Fail to Take Care of Your Heels
The skin generally has oil glands that produce sebum (natural skin oil) which keeps it well moisturized. The only skin part whereby these oil glands are absent are the heels. This however is a necessary design to help us maintain friction with the ground while we walk. But this means the heels lack the moisturizing effect other skin parts enjoy. Ultimately this makes the heels the driest skin of the body.
When this dryness of the heels reaches its maximum point, certain things begin to happen to the heels. It is important to mention that even a dry heel that has not advanced beyond that is also unpleasant. The drier the heels become, the higher the tendency of cracks and fissures to occur. And when the heels get cracked, it causes pains on the heels as well. To further worsen the already bad condition, a cracked heel can easily get infected by bacteria or fungi. Now when that happens, no one would have to write a buying guide on why you need a heel cream: You’ll go searching for one yourself…
How Does a Heel Cream Help?
A heel cream is formulated and designed to carry out an array of functions targeted at the heels. Some of these functions are listed below:
It Moisturizes the Heels
Our heels naturally lack enough moisture to keep it soft like other skin parts. Therefore a good heel cream would want to solve that by adding sufficient moisture to the heels. Most of the ingredients in a heel cream contain moisturizing properties to certain degree. This makes a heel cream well suited to keep the heel properly moisturized.
It Fixes Damaged Skin
A good heel cream works to repair and fix skin that has been damaged in one way or the other. For those who failed to care for their heels, the appearance of cuts, scars and cracks are quite common. This is where a heel cream is at its best; in treating these kinds of heel conditions. The ingredients in a heel cream are specially designed and suited for this function.
It Softens Hard Heels
Some heels are naturally dry, while others become dry due to neglect. Despite what may be responsible for the hardening of the heels, a good heel cream works to soften it.
It Prevents Infections
Most times openings in the heel make the heel susceptible to infections. These infections are either as a result of bacteria or fungi activities. A regular heel cream would readily prevent such infections. However, if you want to cure such you would need to go for heel creams that specifically handle and treat infections.
It Reduces Pains
The daily pressure we exert on our heels while walking can be a bit too much for them. This is more so especially when we have dry or cracked heels. Such situations transform the pressure into pains that moves from our heels and reverberate throughout our body. Ingredients like menthol, tea tree oil, essential oils and arnica Montana serve as pain-relievers in a heel cream. It would be best to look out for such ingredients when you go shopping if you heels hurt.
Active Ingredients in a Heel Cream
When going in search of a heel cream, you must take into consideration the ingredients that cream contains. The ingredients in a heel cream determine the effectiveness of the results you get. Knowing these ingredients would also give you an idea if such heel cream is suitable for your heel’s condition. Let’s learn about some of these ingredients then, shall we?
This compound is known for its ability to repair dead skin cells. This means if you suffer from cracked heel, having allantioin in your heel cream guarantees faster repairs. As the skin cells begin to regenerate thanks to allantoin, the cracks and fissures get sealed up in the process.
As a moisturizing ingredient, allantoin ensures your heel is not deprived of the moisture necessary to keep it looking soft.
Aloe vera is no stranger when it comes to being used in skincare products. This amazing natural ingredient brings soothing relief to your heels. It calms itching, burning and pains that your heels might be experiencing. Aloe vera also is a great moisturizing ingredient.
In addition to this, aloe vera is a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants are ingredients that combat free radicals in and on the skin that can cause the skin to break. The presence of aloe vera in your heel cream will prevent your heel from breaking or cracking open.
One of the things a good heel cream does is to add moisture to the heel which it so desperately needs. And one amazing ingredient that serves as a moisturizing agent is the coconut oil. It is very effective in its role because the skin can easily absorb it in.
Coconut oil also restores the strength of the skin. Which means the skin is strengthened and less likely to crack up. This natural ingredient is a sure friend you can trust.
Glycerin is a compound that does the function of a humectant. That means it prevents the escape of moisture from the heels for a long period. This is important since the moisture in the heel is quite low, therefore preserving that which is present is mandatory. The function of glycerin ensures that the heel does not become too dry.
Like we stated earlier that the only skin part that lacks sebum which is the oil produced naturally by the skin is the heel. This lack can be easily corrected by using a heel cream that contains jojoba oil. This is because this amazing ingredient can mimic the functions as well as properties of the sebum produced by the skin. With jojoba oil, your heels won’t be deprived as it naturally is. Apart from the addition of oil, jojoba oil also controls oil production of the skin.
As an emollient, this ingredient is capable of softening hard skin. This makes it very helpful for those that possess hard heels. Furthermore, it can equally trap in moisture from escaping just like glycerin.
One important group of ingredients that is necessary for a good heel cream is an exfoliator. This group of ingredients helps in removing dead skin cells that have amassed on the surface of the skin. And such accumulation of dead skin cells on the heels will only serve to harden the heels and make them prone to cracking. Salicylic is an exfoliator that is readily employed in heel creams and is one of the most known among the group. Its ability to deal with dry and thick as well as serious cases such as hyperkeratosis is legendary.
It is also capable of soothing the heels of any kind of pain. Nevertheless, we advise you not to use it on skin that is broken and has a deep cut. Its effect can be stinging if applied to such exposed skin. A 6% concentration of salicylic acid in your heel cream is quite ideal. This concentration would ensure that you don’t experience such stinging effect from this ingredient.
It is well proven and documented that as we age, our skin tends to lose its strength and its suppleness. The same thing happens to our heels which make it get drier and harder as we get older. To combat this most times, producers employ anti-aging ingredients and antioxidants. One ingredient that fits the bill of both an antioxidant and an anti-aging ingredient is shea butter. It will help your skin maintain its elasticity and won’t cause it to cracked or break when it is pressurized.
Known as a healing ingredient, urea is used in heel creams to heal the skin of cracks and other damages. Serving as an anti-fungal ingredient, urea deals with fungi that seek to infect your heels. When going to buy a heel cream, a 10% urea concentration is adequate to give you the result you desire. However if your case seems severe, the maximum concentration should be about 25%. Do not go beyond that as the stinging effect of the urea might be a bit too much for the skin.
A good heel cream should contain enough ingredients that can add moisture and tea tree oil is one of such. Tea tree oil is a natural ingredient with the ability to moisturize and heal your heels. It is known to fight fungal and bacterial infections that might worsen the condition of your heels. Very few ingredients rival the tea tree oil when it comes to dealing with infections; this is one ingredient you shouldn’t neglect.
Tips on Using a Heel Cream
- Apply your heel cream immediately after bathing. Doing this will ensure that the ingredients in your heel cream are absorbed into the skin: This will definitely increase the effectiveness.
- Ensure that you use the heel cream as directed. Do not assume that the way you used a previous heel cream is the same way you are to use another. Some creams require using it lavishly while other just needs a pea-size to work effectively.
- If over the counter heel creams fail to work, it means your condition is severe. Then you need to see a dermatologist who will recommend a prescription treatment for you. But we do advise that going to see a dermatologist should be the last resort. Most cases are easily handled by using a good heel cream.
Other Ways to Take Care of Your Heels
At this point, you should know that taking care of your heel is not optional but mandatory. But apart from using a heel cream, what other ways can one take care of his or heels? Well, we’ll answer that for you below.
Reduce Standing, Walking or Running as Much as You Can
Yes, you read that well. We aren’t saying become sedentary; but you need to cut down on the demands you place on your heels. The more you stand, walk or run, the more you heels bear the brunt of it all. (And don’t you dare say what do I have them for?). Remember your heels need to be cared for and being considerate about the pressure they carry is part of caring.
Wear Shoes with Heel Cups
It’s all about caring for your heels and honestly flip-flops and sandals without heel cups are villains in this story. They stress and pressure your heels so bad that if you listen close enough, you’ll hear your heels crying for help. What we’re saying in plain caveman language: “No heel cups; bad for heels”.
Exposing your heels constantly and continuously to climatic and environmental elements will cause your heels to dry out. Also wearing socks will reduce the unprofitable friction involving your heels and shoes.
It is our hope that after reading this guide, you won’t neglect your heels anymore. Rather, you’ll care for them properly. Also remember the ingredients are what make a heel cream effective, so ensure you read the labels.
How helpful has this buying guide been? What tips have been most useful to you? Please share with us in the comments section; we would love to hear from you.