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Question: I have developed hard skin on my feet & cracked heels. Looking for advice to treat & prevent this?

Asked by WendyS

17 answers

During the past year or so I have developed the hard skin. Wax pedicures help but hard skin soon returns. I've also tried cream or olive oil with socks overnight but not found anything that works for any length of time. Any advice or names of particular creams etc. appreciated.
Have read about Fish Pedicures, should I give it a go?
Thank you :)


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Top Answer – As rated by the community


I would suggest that every time you have a shower or a bath you use a foot file straight away when the skin is soft. I use a ped egg and I fine it very good. The art of it all is to foot file them regularly and cream the area every night. hope this helps!

Answer Comments


Thank you for your answer. I'm new to Wahanda & gave one response to both answers - will know for next time!
Please read my response to the other answer.

Many thanks

Wendy :)

Other answers (16)


The Gara Rafa fish feed off dead skin cells, they dont bite they wont hurt you in any way, the water is warm and comfortable your feet are cleaned before you enter the tank with the fish so not to harm them, its relaxing they tickle, find your local fish spa and give it a go, I recommend it.


Hi Wendy, I personally would recommend callus peel (it peels all your calluses away like orange and the treatment takes 20 minutes in all) You can have it as a standalone treatment or you can have it incorporated into a pedicure. "Feet makeover" (heel peel plus express pedicure) was my special offer last month and it was very popular and still is. This offer consist of taking all the caluses off and giving client an express pedicure (nail shape and file, cuticle work, CND polish of their choice and moisturise) all for £25----this treatment usually cost £35.

This is a miracle treatment as the result is instant before your very own eyes in just 20 minutes, you can have the feet you have always dreamed of.

All you need after that ismoisturise with a callus cream every night wearing a cotton socks. Attached is a link from my website. Hope this helps? and if you need further information about home use, you can email Cheers



Hi WendyS
I would personlly recommend using a professional nail file (the thicker one's, not an emery board) and as strange as this may sound, put your foot on the loo seat, with the lid up (!) and use the file on dry, and only dry feet, rubbing on the dry skin. You will see this powder off, and fall mostly in to the loo. Keep repeating this all over the foot on the bad areas. I recommend a light going over daily if its bad, again on thoroughly dry feet (damp feet will only result in gaugung off chunks!) before you bath or shower. Then I would recommend rubbing in a foot cream that contains Urea (yep, it is what you think it is!) which breaks down dead skin. A good one is made by Boots called 'CCS' cream and can be found in the foot care section.
I have soft soles after years and years of cracked skin, I file regularly and cream every single day following showering.
Give it a go for at least 2 weeks and you will be amazed! Hope my rambling has helped!!!

Mandy Minxer


It s all about caring for your feet on a daily basis... I won't write too much as there were lots of replies already posted. Maybe you should consider trying a brand recognised for pedicures and used by chiropodists. I can only recommend Sixtus products...just check our link



Once upon a time I visited a chiropodist who gave me a discounted treatment because we worked at the same store. Instantly my feet felt sore but the skin on my heels and balls suffered for many months afterwards even tho I had never actually had a problem beforehand
I NEVER RETURNED ... but he was such a lovely man!

My recommendation is not to over scrub or file (if at all!) . The cause of the problem is really what you need to consider ... even comfortable shoes can be to blame! Figure out where the worst hit areas are and decide whether it's posture or footwear to blame. In the wintertime my feet are always softer because I wear socks and boots 90% of the time

Anyway, once a week I sink into a luxurious candlelit bath. I don't really add bath bombs or fluffy stuff because I shower beforehand because I get more pleasure from the crystal clear water surrounding me. (I prefer to save the 'smellies' for later when I lavishly apply my body lotion). Anyway after half an hour of heavenly bliss, I sit up and simply use my thumb nails to gently scrape away the skin that has built up in certain areas - NO FOOT FILE, NO EXPENSIVE LOTIONS OR MEDICAL POTIONS. try it - it really helps. I suggest doing it gently but 'firmly & regularly' however I feel your priority has to be to fathom out WHY it's recently become a problem.



Hello Wendy,

Thanks for your question...

Recommended Professional Treatments
You may want to try the Nyame Dua Callus peel pedicure £32 which is like a chemical peel, but for the feet & should get rid of the presenting hard skin, depending on severity, in 1-3 treatments.

Hard Skin Prevention
In terms of prevention, its important to wear well fitted shoes as this can cause hard skin due to pressure applied to from the shoes to the feet.

In the summer months, if you wear open shoes often such as flip flops, they may not be giving the feet enough support in terms of cushioning & as such, you may be affected by hard skin on the feet.

2/3 times a week, it is important you exfoliate your feet at home, yourself, in between professional treatments. This can be best achieved using a good pumice stone from a good healthcare retailer. The ones you can pick up in cheaper stores are usually not real pumice stone, consisting of a manufactured element which does not give the same benefits.

You could also use a white block which should be used on the feet dry & cost approximately 35p.

After exfoliation using any of the methods above, & after your evening shower, cover the feet in Vaseline & put your socks on over night. In the morning, your feet will be baby soft.

In the summer months, our feet swell & we loose a lot of water, via the feet sweating.
To counter balance this dehydration, I'd advise you to maintain a good level of water intake - 2litres is the recommended daily amount in the Uk which could be increased depending on your height & weight & daily physical activities.

It is said, that a client suffering with permanent heel cracks, has a yellow tint to the skin of the feet area & very dry skin & hair could indicate a thyroid balance.

Hard skin over the heel area may also indicate problems around the pelvic or lower back areas.

Dry skin on the heels may be due to a lack of omega 3 & 6 essential fatty acids.

Sources: Reflexology for Holistic Therapist by Francesca Gould


Hello Kerrys,

Splitting nails can be caused by a number of factor’s, however the most common causes are excessive housework or lack of good nutrition.

Split nails is a condition affecting the nails of the hands & feet where they become weak, fragile & split or peel off vertically.

- Age
- Lack of calcium
- Over exposure to harsh chemicals – even nail polish remover can become harmful if over used, detergents etc
- Lack of good nutrition.


- Nutrition
Your diet should include calcium & other important vitamins & minerals. This will encourage your nails to grow stronger & healthier. Nyame Dua has a simple vitamin/mineral deficiency checker we can mail over to you, just drop us an email.

My research has indicated that main remedy for your nail condition is to add more nutrients to your diet. Nutrients your diet should be high in are Biotin, from the Vitamin B group. Foods from this group are: Peanuts, lentils, egg yolks, sardines, mushrooms, bananas, liver, & cauliflower.

You doctor can also prescribe biotin supplements to promote growth of nails.


- Professional Treatment
I’d also suggest you have regular manicure treatments which will maintain the health & appearance of the skin & nails every 7 – 10 days or as often as your budget will stretch.

The therapist delivering your treatment will give you a thorough consultation to devise a treatment plan to resolve your presenting condition & identify whether your nails are splitting due to being weak, dry, or brittle.

Improves the appearance of the hands & nails;
Improves the condition of the skin & nails;
Helps resolve non medical conditions of the hands & nails when a treatment plan is devised & delivered;
Stimulates blood circulation, bringing fresh oxygen & nutrients to the hands & nails, nourishing the area & removing cellular waste;
Helps slow down the aging process on the hands;
Appropriate homecare advice is given.


- Homecare
Buy a good cuticle oil & massage this into the cuticle every 2/3 days, this will nourish the skin around the area & nails;
Wear protective gloves when washing up;
Wear protective gloves when gardening or doing housework;
The nails are also 10x more permeable to water than the skin is - do not expose them excessively to water;
Dry the hands thoroughly after washing;
Apply hand cream regularly to moisturise the skin of the hands & nails, this reduces the drying out effect on the nails & stops them chipping – Use whenever your hands feel dry, you’ve been for a swim, after a bath, after washing your hands, clothes or dishes etc;
Avoid harsh, drying soaps;
Do not use the fingernails as tools, this causes the nails to weaken, split & break;
Using the correct homecare products is important as if you use the wrong product i.e strengthener on already strong nails, your nails will break easily as they will become over/too hard.


Natural Remedies:
A natural remedy for resolving your symptoms & strengthening brittle & rough nails is applying vegetable oil to the nails 2/3 times a week. Apply the vegetable oil with a cotton swab & wipe it over the nails, this will moisturize the nails & keep them healthy.

Clarified butter (Ghee) is also a good natural remedy on your nails to make them flexible & strong. Clarified butter helps strengthen weak/brittle nails & also promotes growth.


- Products
Your manicurist should recommend a range of homecare products to use, which will help alleviate your presenting symptoms. These maybe from the range they used on your nails & may retail within the salon or she may give you a few over the counter treatments to try.

OPI & China Glaze have produced a range of nail treatments & base coats to be used every 2/3 days & can be bought at any good health & beauty shop. Again, know your nail condition type – are they splitting because they are weak, dry, or brittle.

Sally Hansen also does a fantastic range of nail treatments which are available from Boots & Superdrugs.

Sources: The Complete Nail Technician;

Answer Comments


Thank you - but I don't have a problem with my nails, I think you have posted this answer under the wrong question :)


best cure is = before going to bed put vasaline on you feet then wrap you'r feet in cling film do this 3-4 night in a row and your feet will be as soft as soft as a babys bum,do this every now and again and your feet will be fine ,

Answer Comments


Thank you mary50, I have been using olive oil with cotton socks (so my feet can "breathe"). My feet feel gorgeous now & all hard skin was easily removed once it had softened :)


Not sure how old this thread is but thought I'd tell you a tip I picked up that works better than anything said above vaseline is good but even better is vapour rub as it not only softens but helps freshen too. I suffer so badly with dry sore cracked heels and it's always a big bug bear when I'm due to go away as I want half decent feet in sandals and even if I manage to get them okish within 2 or 3 days of going in the sea and the sun they become worse than ever. But I have to literally soak and scrub my feet at least once a day in the run up to get them smooth and use vicks vapour run every night. It's too much effort for the rest of the year but I do manage to gety feet soft and smooth this way for my holidays. And I do suffer very badly. Seriously give the vapour rub a go it's cheap too and it really works.


best cure is = before going to bed put vasaline on you feet then wrap you'r feet in cling film do this 3-4 night in a row and your feet will be as soft as soft as a babys bum,do this every now and again and your feet will be fine ,


I know from personal use it is much easier to apply a cream that softens the hard skin instead of trying to remove it which is often better done by a specialist in case of an accident. I use the beeswax/oil salveation cream by mama nature on a daily basis that has been a good option for the tough skin around my heels. It really softens the skin nicely and has prevented the skin from hardening again. I read somewhere that the skin hardens because it is being thickened due to excessive rubbing.


i have no ankle movement and no skin on my heel due to road accident with truck, a crush injury having grafted skin no hard skin on my heel. please help me


I went for a long walk on a wet day and after accidentally filling both boots with water I kept going for about 2 hours. The next day I was amazed to find ALL the hard skin gone. Water, of course, gets in to all the nooks and crannies. I was wearing normal socks and waterproof boots. Wellies may be just as good as long as you wear the socks also. They're still ok 3 months later. Good luck.


Regular pedicures will help.


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I have suffered from the same for a long time until I came across crystal glass foot files! It works charm! After the first use my feet were extremely soft. I only use it once a week, especially now over the summer and don't even have to apply any foot cream :)
This is the website where I bought it from
I just love it, give it a go. Will never buy anything else :)
I hope you'll be just as happy with their products as me.



Well I don't know you are from which country.. If you can find a cream called boroline.. May be in any indian would be great... It's a big brand name safe and very effective... Try for 7 night with or without socks after washing feet with normal water and then apply.. Iam sure you will be very happy.. And it's very very easy on pocket .. Comes in dark green tub or tube .



I'm probably too late with my answer but have you ever tried an electric pedi? My sister recently bought me one and I'm so excited about the results. It's quick and it works. There are several brands on the market so I'm sure you'll find what you want. You can also check for some reviews of these devices.


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