Foot Care and Heel Cracks


Most people usually assume that the feet of barefooters are all “calloused”. However, the word the kind of “callous” that people think of is a localized thickened area of the skin, like a corn. Since corns are formed by the rubbing on the foot by the inside of a shoe, barefoot people don’t get those. What they do often get is a general broad thickening of the entire sole. This is the natural reaction of the glabrous skin there and it is how we evolved.

While barefooters are not subject to many of the foot maladies of the shod (like corns), they do get things like heel cracks. While one might suspect that heel cracks are a result of the thickening of the skin on the bottom of the foot, that surely cannot be the whole answer, since there are many, many shod people who get heel cracks. In fact, there is a whole industry and a plethora of products for heel cracks, and I guarantee they are not all being sold to barefooters.

Barefooters do have a lot of experience with keeping their feet in strong and supple condition, so we can offer a bit of advice regarding skin creams. One of the products that we particularly like is Neutrogena’s Norwegian Formula™ Hand Cream. Don’t let the “Hand” in the name fool you; it works just fine on feet. This product goes on quite thick and can take quite a while to get absorbed. It mainly contains glycerin as its moisturizer.

But members of the Society for Barefoot Living have found what we think is an even better skin moisturizer: lotions containing urea. Urea seems to allow the skin to retain its moisture better. Thus, one of the products we think does a superior job is Flexitol Heel Balm. It contains 25% urea. It’s not as messy as the Neutrogena when it goes on, and it leaves the thickened skin on the sole feeling like fine leather. It also does a very good job preventing cracks. Gold Bond Foot Cream is another product that contains urea (though I haven’t been able to find out what percent).

It’s really quite amazing what a positive difference the addition of urea makes.


6 Responses to “Foot Care and Heel Cracks”

  1. j Says:

    Hmm, urea, I’ll keep that in mind! I don’t get heel cracks but I get dry skin in other places in winter.
    Just my 2 cents on creams and stuff: The lotion I’ve found most moisturizing is Body Butter from the Body Shop. It is veeeery thick and creamy and is amazing on dry spots and rashes that other lotions fail completely on. I just checked it and it doesn’t have urea. I don’t know how well it does on heel cracks but I’d trust it to do pretty well.

  2. Cassandra Says:

    I get heel cracks and I just apply any shortening or hydrogenated vegetable oil after washing the feet clean on dry and cracked areas of the feet. After applying a thick coat of shortening on the feet, I wear a pair of thick socks. Leaving this application overnight can surely provide positive results in few days. It works for me.

  3. Lydia Adams Says:

    Cocoa butter also works great on cracked, dry skin, as does a petroleum jelly product like Vaseline. I don’t really recommend Crisco for skin care however. It may work well Cassandra but it’s not meant to be exposed to air like that and could lead to bacteria growth-not to mention it could attract bugs!

  4. Todd Says:

    You mention Urea as being a useful ingredient. Well, distasteful as it may sound (barefooting all sounds distasteful to most when they first hear it!), urine is an utterly miraculous healing liquid. I’ve been using it for years for every conceivable skin ailment (which are few and far between) and couldn’t recommend it more highly. Its free, utterly sterile when fresh, and can benefit almost any condition known to man. The first year I used urine as a sunscreen was the first year I never had a painful sunburn. (I’m middle aged and love the sun hitting the beach every summer.) It even works very well as a contact lens rinse! Google “Urine Therapy” to learn about the oldest and most effective treatment for modern ailments ever discovered. Remember that ignorance tears down things it doesn’t understand or has never tried. The same thing occurs with barefooters. Its hard for people to wrap their minds around a concept that seems rather foreign and illogical at first. Over 2500 ingredients identified in urine. If it tastes bad, you’re eating garbage. Clean up your diet and see the difference. And yes, I use it internally as well. People fast on it for weeks at a time – nothing but urine and water. The claims of healing for this regime are nothing short of astonishing. Remember: nobody can sell it so the motivation to lie is negligible.

  5. Lighting Fixture : Says:

    a good skin care regimen always employ natural moisturizers and topical vitamins ”

  6. Ionization Smoke Detector Says:

    skin care should be supported with a good rest and of course very good nutritional supplements `”*

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