The cracked heels are a sign of lack of attention to foot care rather than just overexposure or lack of moisturizing. From the medicinal point of view, cracked heels are also known as heel fissures. Fissures are regular cut-line wounds and mainly affect at the level of the surface comprising the epidermis. It can penetrate deep into the dermis at times and become painful.
Cracked Heel Symptoms
Cracks in the heels can take several days or even weeks to develop. In fact, recognizing the early signs of cracks in the heels can prevent or at least control them to some extent. You will know that you are developing cracks in your heels if you detect symptoms such as:
- Dryness and Itching: The appearance of parched and peeled skin is one of the first signs of cracks in the heels. Skin turns white and perhaps red with excessive dryness. Scaling and Dryness may be worse in certain parts of the heel. Severe itching at the heel contour will also be experienced.
- Development of Vertical Injuries: In case the skin is still dry, it may detect the appearance of small cracks around the edge of the heel.
- Pain and Sensitivity: As you walk, the pressure you place on the heel can cause the lesions to open wider, making your heels feel irritated, tender, and sore.
- Skin Hardening: As it continues to lose moisture, the skin often becomes hard and rough, especially around the fissure’s edges. This can make delays in the process of healing since the skin does not bind easily.
In case you experience any of the signs mentioned above or symptoms, it’s better to get in touch with your doctor. As heel cracks develop, you may also experience bleeding, white discharge, or signs of infection.
Cracked Heels Causes
You are aware of the fact that the skin on your heel is thicker than the skin on foot. Therefore, you must moisturize it often and thoroughly to keep it healthy and flexible. For whatever reason, if the skin covering the heel becomes excessively dry, less moisture in the area will make the upper layer of skin to lose flexibility. As a result, the skin of the heel will begin to separate and crack.
Cracked heels are a common condition for older people or people who are always putting pressure on the foot pad. In addition to this, the production of sebum decreases with age, and older adults tend to suffer from dry and cracked heels. Excessively dry skin, peeling of the skin, and dry and cracked skin on the heels, are some common skin problems that older people face. Dry skin on the heels is often a recurring problem. It can affect either or both.
What Causes Cracked Heels?
Several different factors can cause you to develop cracks in your heels. Some of the most common causes of this problem include:
- Advanced age
- Being obese or overweight
- Lack of proper hygiene and skin care (around the heel)
- Medical conditions such as diabetes or athlete’s foot
- Poor circulation in the feet
- Put an immense amount of pressure on the foot (standing or walking for many hours)
- Skin disorders or psoriasis and eczema
- Wear tight or loose shoes around the ankle and rub against the skin
- Wear shoes with heels exposed on a regular basis
- Standing long at work or home. Hard soles can also cause cracks in the feet.
- Standing for prolonged periods in a wet place such as a bath can cause dry, cracked heels.
Here is a list of some other reasons that can lead to cracked heels:
- Age: Thick dry and flaky skin loses elasticity with age and cracks
therefore have a – Tight shoes, standing for a long time or a change in walking posture.
- Conditions or unhygienic conditions
- Sick, dry and scaly skin due to weather or diseases
- Vitamin, mineral and zinc deficiency
Cracked Heel Remedies
Fortunately, most cracked heels cases can be completely reversed with simple lifestyle changes and home remedies.
How to Heal Cracked Heels?
The first thing to do is treating your cracked heels is to get rid of excessive dryness of the skin. To do this, you should apply an oil cream or moisturizer on the cracked dry heels at least twice a day. For best results, you should
- Soak the feet in a little warm water for 15 to 20 minutes, to soften the skin.
- Remove dead skin, with the aid of a file or a pumice
- Gently pat dry skin before applying moisturizer
- Allow the affected foot to absorb the moisturizer for at least 15 minutes
- Wear a pair of thick socks and leave them on for a couple of hours or, preferably, at night
You should notice changes in your heels after a week by following these exercises.
To heal cracked heels at homes follow these remedies
- Take a ripe banana and crush it well, until it has a thick paste. Covering all the lesions completely apply this paste to dry cracked feet. Leave the pulp of banana on the skin for about 10 to 15 minutes, before you rinse your feet with warm water. You should do this exercise every week.
- Squeeze lemon juice into a basin and add some warm water, some shampoo and a teaspoon of Vaseline. Soak feet in soapy solution for 15 to 20 minutes, before rinsing and drying your feet.
- Try Listerine foot soak, this secret hack has been breaking the internet for quite some time. Out of many articles published on this hack we recommend you to try this foot soak because it has many type of footbath then the conventional ones.
- Spread a teaspoon of paraffin in a bowl and mix with an equivalent amount of mustard oil. Apply the mixture in the fissures and leave it overnight. Rinse your feet with warm water in the morning, before patting and drying them. You should do this exercise daily, for about 2 weeks.
These home cures for cracked heels are quite safe; however, it is best to consult with a physician before attempting any of them.
Home Moisturizing Cream
Make your moisturizer at home by mixing a tablespoon of olive oil along with a few drops of lemon oil or lavender oil. Pour this mixture of oils into a small bottle and add an equal amount of water to it. Shake the contents well so that water and oil form a thick milky solution. Use this home remedy for dry, cracked heels as and when necessary, you can also try our marula body lotion for this purpose. Be sure to shake it before use.
Diet for Cracked Heels
There isn’t a specific diet that one should follow while cracking your heels. However, since some nutritional deficiencies may lead to cracking of the heels, it is best to follow a high diet in:
- Vitamin E: Sunflower seeds, almonds, hazelnuts, pine nuts, peanuts, dried basil, oregano, parsley, Apricot (dried), papaya, green olives, avocado, chard, spinach, brown mustard, green cabbage, greens, broccoli, and taro.
- Iron: Leafy vegetables (cabbage, green cabbage, spinach, chard), broccoli, dried tomatoes, raisins, raisins, dried apricots, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, zucchini seeds, chickpeas, beans, lentils, soybeans , Liver, artichoke, bivalves, oysters, scallops, mussels, caviar, chicken, red meat and egg yolk
- Calcium: Dry sorghum, celery seed, thyme, milk, yogurt, cheese, tofu, sesame seeds, flax seeds, almonds, Brazil nuts, herring, cabbage, brown mustard, green cabbage, dandelion leaves and greens.
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids: Fortified dairy products, enriched eggs, edamame, wild rice, walnuts, canola oil, flax, beans, tuna, mackerel, halibut, trout, sardines, herring and salmon
- Zinc: Garlic, mushrooms, oysters, lobster, salmon, crabs, prawns, beef liver, low-fat roast, lamb, egg yolk, turkey, pork, roasted wheat germ, chickpeas, lime beans, pumpkin seeds, Sesame seeds, watermelon seeds, zucchini seeds, peanuts and chocolate (black)
Never change your diet without first talking to your doctor. It is also essential that you follow a diet that provides your body with the right balance of all essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.
Suggestions for Cracked Heels
Preventing dry and cracked heels is much easier than trying to heal them. Here are a few suggestions that can prevent your heels from developing cracks:
- Soak your feet in warm water a few times a week
- Remove dead skin from your heels by gentle exfoliation
- Regularly exercise, so your circulation improves throughout the body, including feet
- Moisturize your skin at least twice a day
- Avoid wearing shoes that are too tight or that do not cushion your heels enough
- Keep feet clean at all times.
Although these tips are quite safe if followed correctly, check with your doctor before attempting any of them.