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How To Heal Cracked Heels With Better Water



Cracked heels can be unsightly, uncomfortable and frustrating to deal with. If you’ve tried everything to fix that dryness and still haven’t found success, it may be time to stop blaming your skin and look at your water instead.

The truth is that hard water can lead to dry, cracked heels and several other skin, hair and home issues. That’s why water softening is often the best first step when it comes to healing your heels.

Here’s what to know about the relationship between water and skin health —  and how softening can help.

4 Solutions for Cracked Heels

Cracked heels, sometimes called heel fissures, aren’t generally considered a serious health concern. They can occasionally get infected and lead to a skin condition called cellulitis — but for the most part, those heel cracks are just unsightly and uncomfortable.

In some cases, existing medical issues can cause or increase your risk of developing cracked heels. Examples include hypothyroidism, diabetes, athlete’s foot and more. However, there are other factors at play — like the weather, your shoes and, perhaps most importantly, your home’s tap water.

Here are a few ways to heal cracked heels:

#1: Water Softening

An excess of calcium and magnesium causes hard water. These natural minerals can lead to dry skin; this, in turn, may cause foot fissures. While not generally a safety concern, hard water problems can also lead to dry, frizzy hair and brittle, discolored nails — not to mention the impacts on your laundry, bathroom fixtures and water-using appliances.

Fortunately, a water softener can help. These systems trap and flush out hardness minerals, leaving soft water flowing through your home. There are two reasons this is good news for your feet:

  1. Soft water won’t cause new heel fissures.
  2. Your home skincare remedies will be more effective because you won’t have hard water working against them.

Simply put, soft water can lead to soft skin — and that can help prevent uncomfortable cracking.

Explore our lineup of water softening systems here.

#2: DIY Foot Care

There are multiple ways to heal dry skin at home, which means you can try different combinations to see what works. Here are a few examples:

  • Moisturizer: Foot cream, heel balm and lotion can help restore your skin’s natural moisture. Put on a cotton sock overnight to keep the substance in place and promote healing.
  • Foot soak: Try soaking your feet in warm, soapy water for 10 to 20 minutes. Gently pat each heel dry.
  • Scrub: A loofah or pumice stone can help remove the dead skin around each heel fissure.

Many of these foot care techniques can work for other dry skin, too. That’s especially important to remember if you have hard water, because your skin will likely stay dry until a softener system is up and running.

#3: Professional Treatment

In some cases, you might want to take your dry, cracked feet to an expert. You can start with a pedicure, which could help restore moisture and address any foot pain from ongoing dryness. If you’re still worried about your cracked heels, it might be time to visit a podiatrist — a doctor who can diagnose and treat problems in the foot and lower leg.

#4: Better Habits

One of the best ways to heal dry skin is to prevent it from getting worse. That often means improving your habits, particularly where your feet are concerned. Here are a few tips to get you started:

Wear the right footwear: Open-toed shoes can exacerbate dryness and cause irritation. The same is true for any ill-fitting or uncomfortable shoe.

  • Choose better soap: Harsh soaps can dry out your skin and lead to heel fissures. Choose brands designed to be gentle on sensitive skin.
  • Use cooler water: Hot baths and showers can lead to cracked feet. Try turning down the temperature and spending less time in the water.
  • Improve circulation: Poor circulation can cause dry skin, so it’s important to keep your blood moving. Exercise, reduced salt intake and a certain type of compression sock can help.
  • Stay hydrated: Not drinking enough water can potentially deplete your skin’s water content. Create healthy habits that will help you drink more water every day.
  • Care for your feet: Foot care is easy to overlook. Remind yourself to trim your toenails, look after your cuticles, dry your feet thoroughly and always wear clean socks.

Water and Foot Health: What To Know

Now that you know how better water can become the best trick for better skin, it’s time to take a closer look at why this happens.

First, it’s important to think about the science of hard water. Those hardness minerals are a problem because they’re “sticky,” clinging together and building up on surfaces like your skin and scalp. This creates barriers that prevent moisturizers from working effectively. Along the way, hard water also makes your soap and shampoo lather less, creating the perfect environment for dry skin.

The same thing happens to your home. Minerals build up in your pipes, reducing water pressure and leading to potential corrosion. That buildup can collect on your bathroom glass and fixtures — and because you can’t wash away hard water with more hard water, this limescale is difficult to remove.

Of course, hardness isn’t the only consideration when it comes to water and skin health. Here are a few more elements to consider:


It’s no secret that hydration is crucial for your well-being. Drinking enough water helps your immune system function properly, keeps your body temperature balanced, delivers nutrients to your cells and more — and one way or another, all of these elements impact the look and feel of your skin.


Water temperature is an important but often overlooked element of skin health. While cool water is generally a better choice if you want to avoid cracked heels and other dry skin issues, some studies suggest that the best water temperature for skin is actually right in the middle. The same is generally true for skin and weather: mild is ideal because both hot and cold extremes have their downsides.

Water Content

Beyond hardness, some other contaminants can make tap water a problem for your skincare routine.* For example, chlorine in water can sometimes lead to skin irritation and dryness —  and that can be a concern for anyone who uses city water that has been chlorinated for disinfection. A less common example is arsenic contamination, which can potentially lead to skin cancer.

The good news is that the right kind of water filtration can address contaminant concerns. When you know what’s in your water (and what isn’t), it’s easier to prevent skin issues and improve your overall health. Just keep in mind that filtration and softening are separate processes, which means you might need both if you want to address all the variables that could impact your skin.

Shop our drinking water filtration systems here.

Better Water, Better Skin

Although good habits and a solid skincare routine are important for foot health, it’s important to remember that your home’s tap water plays a role, too. Whether you’re drinking it or bathing with it, this water can impact your skin’s look and feel — not to mention your overall health.

If you have hard water, your first step toward success is a water test. This will determine hardness levels and recommended solutions. Along the way, it can also identify any contaminants that could be irritating your skin in other ways.

Get started today by scheduling your free, in-home water test and consultation.

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