Olive oil soothes sore, cracked heels and callused feet

At the risk of promoting olive oil as some kind of miracle elixir, I’d like to tell you about another small discovery. If you wear sandals a lot, you’ve probably experienced the cracked heels that come when dry summer weather takes after the calluses you get from barefoot or sandaled walking. The other day one of my dainty little paws developed a crack so deep it bled. Did that hurt! Every step made that sore heel yelp in pain.

Ouch!

Ouch!

{sigh} I’ve tried sooo many nostrums to deal with dry, cracked heels that I’ve about given up. Hand creams, cow teat ointment, horse hoof ointment, special cracked heel creams, Vaseline, callus scrapers, even prescription gunk. Not a one did any good. Usually when this happens I have to plaster on a giant bandage over a blob of antibiotic ointment and limp around until the split heals.

So I’m sitting there studying yet another brutalized heel when it occurs to me that if olive oil works on your face and works on your hair, maybe it would work on your feet. So, I hauled out some gear and went to work.

Feet & gear

Feet & gear

First, I added a little scented bubble bath to a bucketful of warm water and, after removing the raggedy toenail polish, soaked the victimized feet until I could scrub off all the dirt and dead hide  with a nail brush and pumice stone.

Luxury foot bath

Luxury foot bath

This felt pretty good, though I had to be careful not to cause another squawk of protest from the injured heel. After everything was as clean and smooth as I could make it, I applied about a tablespoon of olive oil to one foot and massaged it in, paying special attention to the calluses around the heel and on the sole and toes. Quickly put on a ped-sized socklet, to keep the oil on my foot and off the floor and furniture. Repeated the same with the other foot.

The next morning, my foot felt a lot better. It wasn’t fully healed, but at least I didn’t have to wear a bandage to walk around.

The following evening, I rubbed more olive oil into each foot, especially around the heels, and covered up with small, light socks again. Each night I wore the socks to bed, mostly to keep any oil from rubbing off on the sheets but also to protect the feet. Truth to tell, by the time I went to bed the olive oil had soaked into the skin (or the socks) enough that it probably wouldn’t have stained the sheets. But who can afford to buy a new set of cotton sheets just because her feet hurt, eh?

On the second day after the initial treatment, the cracked heel seemed to be fixed. As I did the preceding day, I wore shoes with socks (ugh, in 110-degree heat!!) instead of sandals. Again that evening, I massaged in some more olive oil.

By the third morning, the difference was noticable. Far from perfect (oh, to be 20 again!), but improved enough that it doesn’t hurt. At least.

After another olive oil massage and overnight rest, the feet looked pretty good, and the split in the heel was all gone. Given a toenail repaint, the effect is not bad, for an old bat:

DCP_2608

Note that this is absolutely, positively not an instant fix! For three full days, I didn’t even think about repainting the toenails. It took that long for the olive oil to soften and soothe the dry, callused skin.

Also take note that it does, yes indeed it does make you smell like a walking tossed salad. It’s probably not appropriate if you have a lover in the house, unless he or she doesn’t mind having you spend a few nights in the guest bedroom. ;-)

Funny’s other uses for olive oil

Hair conditioner
Facial cleanser
Update on skin conditioning

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Niche Topics July 6, 2009 at 12:02 am

Thanks for sharing! I Olive oil is great for both hair and skin.

very sick me July 6, 2009 at 11:12 am

Nice post (and very nice pictures…I’m starting to think I’ll have to do a treatment when I get home!). Olive oil is such a nice skin treatment yet somehow gets overlooked….

BeThisWay July 8, 2009 at 7:04 pm

Hey there!

Love this idea. I live in Florida and have not worn closed-toe shoes in years. My feet look like the feet of a ninety year-old baboon. I can’t afford pedicures all the time, so I’ll definitely try this! Husband will have to deal with the aroma…

Moriah March 27, 2012 at 7:37 am

I am only 25 and suffer from cracked heels. I love to wear flip flops and ballet flats without socks so this is what’s caused it. I was in an olive oil and balsamic vinegar shop in downtown Asheville, NC tasting different combinations when I got a bit of oil on my hand. Rather than wipe it off, I rubbed it into my dry cuticles on my hands and after only one time of this I noticed a big improvement! I’m now trying it on my poor cracked heels. I think it will be most effective after showers in the evenings with socks. I put some on this morning too.

funny March 27, 2012 at 8:02 am

@ Moriah: Try shea butter on your heels. You can get it for a halfway decent price at Sprouts. It’s much, much more effective on callused heels than olive oil.

Unfortunately, tho’, the only cure for cracked heels is to wear closed shoes, preferably with socks or hose.

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