Almost Miraculous Cracked Foot Cure

First, I’m no doctor or nurse and I know nothing about real medicine so please look at the items I’m using and read the ingredients on your own and make a determination if this is safe for you.  I am not responsible for any adverse reactions . . got that?

My heels are always cracked.  You already know that I love flip flops and despite many promises to stop wearing them after close calls with snakes, I can’t help myself.  Flip flops work for me.  There’s so much “stuff” to step in around here and my shoes pick up mud and dirt in the garden, it’s just way too easy to kick off a pair of flip flops before walking into the house.

Along with wearing flip flops comes cracked heels.  For years I’ve tried everything I could find.  Once I showed my cracked and bleeding heels to my dermatologist and she prescribed a cream which did help some.

Earlier this week, a blog reader told me of a remedy she had heard about.

Cracked Heel Treatment

The regimen is:

  1. Use the pumice stone on your heel while in the shower.
  2. After drying off the feet well, rub a Stridex pad over the heel.  Use a separate pad for each heel.
  3. Massage Vicks VapoRub into the cracked area.
  4. Cover with socks.

One of the active ingredients in Stridex pad is salicylic acid.  They also contain benzoyl peroxide.  I’m not sure which ingredient or a combination of the two causes these pads to be helpful but they are.

The first night I tried this, I didn’t have the Stridex pads but only had the pumice stone and Vicks VapoRub so that’s what I used and the very next day, there was an amazing difference in my heels.

If you, or anyone you know, struggles with cracked heels, you might try this and see if it helps.

As a side benefit, I noticed after rubbing the Vicks on my feet that my hands felt much softer.  Due to the amount of time my hands stay in water, either with washing dishes or working in the garden and washing fresh veggies, or just washing my hands many times a day after dealing with chickens or gathering eggs, the skin around my fingernails is always cracked.  I’ve been massaging a little of the Vicks VapoRub around my nails and cuticles and within just a few days, I hardly notice any cracking and splitting of the skin around my nails and cuticles.



  1. 1

    Debbie Rhodes says

    I have been using Aquaphor…it is an ointment and it works really good too… I save the Vicks for my throat!! I imagine that the vicks might be cheaper?

    • 1.1


      I’ve used the Aquaphor, I’ve used most everything. Lots of things work nicely . . just thought I’d share the Vicks tip.

  2. 2


    Vicks vapor rub is one of my all-time best go to items! I use it on my lips in the winter…it really soothes and heals your chapped lips.

    I also use it when I get a cold…know how your nose gets sore from the tissues? It helps so much.

    I also use it on the kids’ chests when they have a cold…so soothing and warming. (I’ve never tried it, but have heard if you have a child (or adult, I guess) who has a bad cough, putting Vick’s on the soles of the feet, then socks, it helps stop the coughing.)

    One of the “old time works for everything” item!!

  3. 3

    Roberta says

    Going to try this, heels and fingers are always cracking in the winter. Thanks for the tip!!!!

  4. 4


    My heels are so bad — I don’t think I have any vicks, but I’ll try anything. Of course simply wearing socks does tend to help me. But I’m a barefoot gal (blame it on my pediatrician – he told my mom it wouldn’t hurt me to not wear shoes) and working from home doesn’t help that.

    • 4.1

      Rose says

      For years, I have been using plain old vaseline (even the dollar store kind) for my heels at night and covered by a pair of sox. Works very fast. Another use for petroleum jelly (vaseline) is cuts I have had on my fingers when slicing food and other cuts. I put some vaseline on the cut, cover with a bandaid and the cut closes up in a couple of days. Learned this from a friend who got the advice from a doctor when they lived in the tropics, Kids were always getting their toes cut up by the coral as they wore sandels or went barefoot. Ever since hearing about her remedy I have used it alot. She said it is something about keeping the cut moist that actually aids in healing. I know it sure works miracles on my fingertips when the indoor air gets so dry and end up with the little cuts. And there is no lingering odor.

  5. 5


    I must try that! My heels are okay, but I have a terrible time with dry cuticles and fingertips. I’ve been told it’s working with fabric that dries out my fingers? Thanks for the tip!

  6. 6


    Thanks, that’s what my nail lady recommended, too, and I’ve been too lazy to get everything. Because winter here is chillier, I’m not wearing sandals without socks now, but I will be in a couple of months, so I guess I’ll have to bestir myself to get the Vicks. Good reminder.

  7. 7

    zeddie says

    The Vicks feels like Vaseline (petroleum jelly) which is what I use on my cracked feet. I use a pumic stone/foot file in the shower in the morning and then at night I rub Vaseline into my heels and wear socks to bed. Vaseline is a lot cheaper than Vicks!

  8. 8

    Maria do Carmo says

    Stridex eu não conheço aqui no Brasil,mas o Vich sim.Tenhou ma receita que uso e é ótima :S]ao as Aspirinas ,triture bem em um pano com soquete e misture com o Vick,já fica pronto para o uso diário são 3 aspirinas para cada embalagem.

  9. 9


    since the smell is so bad in Vicks,(camphor) I use Gold bond with shea butter. I’m sure the Pumice and the Stridex was helpfull too. I try to keep those things under control… PREVENTION! bc they are not comfortable at all when there are cracks.

  10. 12


    Hi Judy, Sounds like good advice. I found a good solution for my cracked heels too. I use a pumice stone when needed but never heard of trying it while in the shower so I did it before or after. But the biggest aid I found is body cream from Bath and Body Works, it’s the thickest one that they sell in larger, round and not very tall (kind of flat) jars. It comes in various fragrances. Ever since I’ve been using it my feet have been dramatically improved. I dislike wearing flip-flops and never go barefoot simply because I hate to be without socks. My feet are in much nicer condition but I have to continue the treatment or they do get dry.

  11. 13

    Carol Campbell says

    I thought you used the cream you make up yourself and posted the recipe for. Good stuff.

    • 13.1


      I do use that a lot, though I’m currently out and haven’t made any more. I actually think the Vicks is doing a better job on my feet though.

  12. 14

    Lee says

    Salicylic acid is the main metabolite of aspirin (confirmed at Wikipedia) and Benzoyl Peroxide is something we all should have in our medicine cabinets (a bit different than hydrogen peroxide). It might be more cost-effective to ‘mix your own’ instead of paying the cost of Stridex pads. Vicks’ texture, though different ingredients is similar to petroleum jelly, so if you don’t like the smell, maybe that would work. I’ve also heard of people using Udder Cream. Just my 2-cents and putting out some possible money-saving ideas. My son has bad acne and I’d been told about the aspirin/peroxide paste before.

  13. 15


    I am going to try this! My feet are so callous and cracked and ugly – because I go barefoot all the time! The only time I wear socks is when I’m trying to hide my feet or it’s too cold outside to only wear shoes. I have the Vicks and pumice stone, but I will need to pick up some of the stridex next time I’m in town.

  14. 16

    Saska says

    Do you use Dawn dishwashing detergent? –the blue stuff? It makes my cuticles and skin on my hands peel.

  15. 17


    i don’t have much trouble with my heels right now because it’s winter, but i do have dry skin. i make that lotion you gave a recipe for a while back with baby lotion, vitamin e cream, and vaseline. it is just the bomb. love, love, love it!

  16. 18

    Diann says

    A dr. told me to mix vaseline with a good body lotion and put it on my feet. I now put it all over. Wow it does the job and doesn’t cost $50 like the perscription stuff. I told her I couldn’t afford that and she told me what to do and said it was just as good..and it was.

  17. 19

    Lynn in Va says

    My husband and I grew up where Vicks was the remedy for almost everything. Got a nail fungus?-put Vicks on it. God a cold sore?-put Vicks on it. My favorite is when we get sick we put Vicks on the bottoms of our feet and sleep with socks on – you’re better the next day. That stuff works!

  18. 21

    Jevne says

    Thanks, Judy, I’ll try this for sure. Like you, I get cracks around my cuticles, especially during really cold weather. Something that works for me is tape off a Bandaid sheer strip. Hard to keep on during the day with hands in and out of water, but it’s a pretty quick fix. Have no idea what in the glue softens the skin. Same disclaimer as yours. May not work for everyone but works for me. Haven’t tried it on my heels. 🙂

  19. 23


    My heels only crack in the summertime. My dermatologist said it was because I wear leather sandals/shoes without socks and the leather sucks all the moisture out of the feet. In the winter, I always wear socks and they’re fine. Interesting!

  20. 24


    It also important what kind of flip flops you wear as to how they affect your feet. I wear the Orthoheel types that have the soft suade like leather foot beds. Those rubber flip flops will dry out your feet, not to mention there is no arch or heel support. I’m real picky about what I put on my feet. Good support pays long term not only for the feet, but the whole back, knees and hips. I’m not sure how important it is what I moisturize my feet with as much as it’s important I do it every day! I also like to wear socks and athletic shoes in the cooler months and my wool lined Old Friend slippers in the house. No heel cracks.

    • 24.1


      For working in the garden and around the chickens, I like cheapo flip flops that I can hose off several times a day. I don’t see leather flip flops working so well in the chicken yard or in the garden! 🙂

      My biggest problem is no shoes at all. Unless I’m leaving the house, I’m barefooted. If it weren’t for the cockleburs in the yard, I’d probably never wear shoes.

    • 25.1


      I only bought because I wanted something I could throw in the washer/dryer when they get full of Vicks! Stop laughing at me! 🙂

  21. 26


    Next time you go get chicken supplies, ask the feed store if they have any Bag Balm. It comes in a green tin. It is a fantastic ointment for cows udders, but oh my goodness, it is the best thing I have found for my husband’s cracked feet. He has had very expensive creams in the past and nothing works as well as Bag Balm. Cheers! Evelyn

    • 27.1

      Connie says

      Stridex pads are medicated pads used to wash your face. Should be located near the Noxema and other facial cleansers in any drugstore or big box store.

  22. 28


    Great suggestions. I get dry feet too and from time to time will slather them with vaseline and then put socks on before going to bed. They are always baby soft in the morning.

  23. 29

    vickie van dyken says

    I have never tried the Vicks…gonna try it 🙂 I had to go to a clinic because of sores on my big toes. First of all they said NO SHOES…oh ya it’s great in winter to wear socks with your sandels….LOL well anything rubbing them makes them worse. Then he told me about Manuko Honey. It isn’t cheap but it is made here locally ( well they bottle it here, comes from Australia I think) Anyway the stuff is terrific!!!! It is for hard core feet, but you can eat it to 🙂 🙂 Just sayen….I am going to try the Vicks……Good Luck…hey I have no feeling in my feet so ….I don’t know, but they do burn and they do get infected…the honey fixes all that!

  24. 30


    I’m the smell would be one of the best parts! Yummy Vicks! I remember my mom trying to rub it on my chest and I would be squirming and giggling. She’d get mad at me for not staying still.
    I use Muscle Rub (Ben-Gay) and love that smell. I’ve even told my husband I’m just going to rub it on my pillowcase.
    As for your “universal go-to”, Carmex is my winner. On cuts, on chapped lips, just anything that needs a rub. And it’s high on the smell-o-meter.

  25. 31

    Sandy says

    I’m barefoot almost all the time inside the house, in both summer and winter. I’d never heard of using Vicks as a cure for heel cracks and haven’t bought any in years. I’ll have to get some the next time I’m out and try it! The smell of Vicks reminds me of my childhood!

  26. 33

    Jeanette Shouse says

    On Dr. Oz last week they used Salicylic acid to remove warts. Said it is natural in pineapple and rubbing the warts with pineapple will remove them. It acts as a exfoliant on the skin.

  27. 34

    SharonU says

    I’m going to run out tomorrow and buy some Vicks. My husband has a terrible problem with cracked heals due to a common reaction to Chemo meds. Maybe this will help him. I’ll let you know what happens.

  28. 36

    Dot says

    My husband recently saw a podiatrist about the calluses on his feet, and mentioned that he’d tried over-the-counter callus patches. The podiatrist said that he didn’t recommend those, because they contain salicylic acid, and that attacks the surrounding good skin as well as the callus. So you might want to just use the Vapo-Rub.

  29. 37

    Lori-Lyn DUnn says

    I try the vaseline and socks method, but don’t like the slippery feel in the shower the next morning. Also I get to hot in bed with socks on and wind up kicking them off in the night. Some sheets have grease stains at the foot.
    I had a podiatrist once tell me crisco and saran wrap for my cracked heels. It worked- but again the hot foot issue.
    As for the cockleburs in the yard, have Vince drag a big piece of carpet behind the riding mower. They will stick to it and you have removed the seeds. After doing this for some time you can get rid of the “stickers” as we called them in Texas.
    Good luck!