While cracked heels are a common ailment for many people it’s how they are treated that can make all the difference. There are several reasons why cracked heels might occur: from lacking in moisture to wearing poorly fitting footwear, to dry skin to diabetes and prolonged periods of standing or excessive weight. What sometimes starts as dry and thickened skin around the heel, can soon turn into more painful cracked skin around the rim of the heel. Additionally, open footwear and exposure to water – which often takes away the natural oils from skin and can leave heels feeling rough and dry – are also contributing factors when it comes to developing dry skin on your feet, so it’s no surprise that many Australians – who spend ample time outdoors – suffer from this common complaint. And while cracked skin around the heels is generally considered as a cosmetic problem, if not appropriately treated, it can soon become a painful problem – with cracks developing into deep fissures which, in extreme cases, can result in pain, bleeding and soon become a breeding ground for bacteria and viruses if left untreated. There’s no doubt that prevention is better than cure, but if you do find yourself suffering from cracked heels, applying a topical heel balm to the affected area is a great way to help treat the problem. When it comes to heel balms, however, it’s important to do your research before buying one, because not all heel balms are the same! While heel balms are widely accepted as being the best way to treat cracked heels, with so many different heel balms available to buy, it’s hard to know where to start, and which type of foot balm will really work. Subsequently, it’s important to understand what goes into heel balms, and how they can help heal cracked feet. Feet skin is usually drier and more dehydrated than other parts of the skin, as your feet bear your entire body weight while walking and standing. That’s why skin dryness, cracking and callouses usually occur in the heel area where there is a build-up of dead skin cells. When we apply heel balm, it can help your skin regenerate and repair, which is vital to heal cracked heels and restore skin hydration and softness.
Most heel balms readily available on the market are based on a petrochemical formula – which means that the formulation is made up of various types of petroleum, mineral oils, or petroleum waxes. This results in the petrochemicals forming an occlusive coating over the skin, to help prevent moisture loss, which means that the vast majority of heel balms feel thick and ointment-like and can leave a greasy residue on the skin. More often than not, heel balm directions instruct the user to wear socks after application – this is so you don’t slide in shoes or slip on floors, and also so that you don’t stain your bed sheets. Aside from providing intense moisturisation to the affected area, however, most heel balms do little else in the way of remedying cracked heels, and the high content of urea found in most brands is relied upon to exfoliate the dry skin. It’s also common place to find fragranced heel balms, which can irritate dry, cracked skin. Designed to remedy and treat cracked heels, recommended by podiatrists and unlike any other formulas on the market, NS8 Heel Balm Complex is a natural, non-greasy, non-slip cream which is easily absorbed and provides fast relief for rough, cracked, dry or thickened heels and feet without the need for bed socks or foot files. Unlike other heel balms, NS8 uses a natural formulation made from natural, organic, and naturally synthesised ingredients. It doesn’t contain petrochemicals, parabens, lanolin, colours or fragrances, making it suitable for all skin types, and instead of being thick, greasy and difficult to apply it has a creamy consistency, which spreads easily and is more economical to use. A highly concentrated formula – which means that a little goes a long way - NS8 contains natural extracts, vitamins, moisturisers and exfoliants (AHAs) that work in synergy to remove thickened skin and raise moisture levels to give you soft, smooth heels, and as well as hydrating, softening skin, smoothing and exfoliating, the NS8 Heel Balm Complex is a naturally active heel balm that nourishes and restores rough, cracked or thickened skin on heels and feet. Rich with a variety of natural ingredients, the combination of urea and coconut triglycerides is designed for intense moisturisation. These Natural Moisturising Factors (NMF) are recognised by the skin, and so instead of merely coating the skin, like petrochemiclas do, they are readily absorbed to provide immediate and intensive moisturisation. Unlike other heel balms, NS8 contains lactic and malic acid – both of which are natural AHA’s derived from milk and fruit – which gently exfoliate dry, rough and calloused skin. Aloe Vera and Allanatoin act as natural hydrators and the Evening Primrose Oil and Grape Seed Oil will help soften the skin. For anyone with diabetes – many of whom are also more prone to cracked feet - the NS8 balm will provide welcome relief without the need for physical abrasion, such as foot files and pumice stones, which are best avoided as excessive skin can unwittingly be removed, due to reduced sensation in the limbs. Unintentionally removing too much skin from feet can cause diabetic foot ulcers which in turn can lead to amputations. The NS8 Heel Balm gently but effectively exfoliates thickened skin without the use of foot files, and the intensive moisturising formula - which contains natural moisturising factors - is the best choice for feet and heels affected by diabetes.