Can a Vitamin Deficiency Cause Cracked Heels ?
Cracked heels is a common condition especially in the summer months when the skin on our heels becomes extra dry and with the situation aggravated by wearing flip flops.
There are other reasons why we can develop cracked heels too..
Statistics tell us that some twenty percent of adults in the USA experience cracked skin on their feet, with women being fifty percent more susceptible to the condition than men.
Why cracked heels can occur
A diet deficient in Zinc, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Vitamin B3, and Omega-3 fatty acids can cause cracks in your heels and skin.
Zinc-helps the body metabolize carbohydrates, fats and protein and supports the maintenance of healthy skin. Food rich in zinc include:
- Whole grains
- Seeds and nuts
Vitamin A promotes cell division and growth, including getting rid of the old dead skin cells, helping to contribute to smooth healthy skin. Foods high in Vitamin A include:
- Beef liver
- Sweet potato (cooked)
- Bluefin tuna
- Winter squash (cooked)
- Goat cheese
- Kale (cooked)
- Hard-boiled egg
Vitamin E is necessary for the optimum functioning of many organs in the body. It also helps to slow the processes that can damage cells. Foods high in Vitamin E include:
- Nuts (almonds, peanuts, and hazelnuts/filberts)
- Seeds (such as sunflower seeds)
- Green leafy vegetables (such as spinach and broccoli)
Higher intakes of dietary Vitamin C have been found to reduce dry skin. It is thought that ascorbic acid may affect trans-epidermal water loss. Foods that are rich in Vitamin C include:
- Chilli peppers
- Black currants
The most frequent symptoms of Vitamin B3 deficiency include cracked and scaly skin, which can appear all over your body, including on your heels. Foods high in Vitamin B3 to help eliminate vitamin deficiency and cracked heels include:
- Chicken breast
- Brown rice
Omega-3 fatty acids are very beneficial to the skin because they help control oil production, raising hydration and preventing acne. In addition, they help to delay the skin's aging process to prevent wrinkles. Foods high in Omega 3 include:
- Fish and other seafood (salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring and sardines)
- Nuts and seeds (flaxseed, chia seeds and walnuts)
- Fortified foods (yogurt, juices, milk and soy beverages)
Of course if you are concerned that you are not getting enough of these vitamins - and more - through your diet, you can add supplements for extra support. If necessary, seek advice on supplements from a nutritionist or your doctor.
There are other causes for cracked heels
The skin around the heels is highly sensitive meaning that any neglect can lead to damage. Another name for cracked heels is heel fissures.
- Dry skin is the most common cause of cracked heels.
- The impact and friction between layers of tissue when walking can cause cracking.
- When the feet spend time in water for prolonged periods of time, the strength of the skin is affected.
- Sweating can lead to painful cracked heels.
- Spending a lot of time standing on hard surfaces (especially barefoot) is another cause of cracked heels especially when overweight or obese.
- Calluses and corns can lead to the development of cracked heels.
- Certain conditions that cause the skin to dry can also lead to cracked heels. These conditions include thyroid, eczema and psoriasis.
- Dehydration is another cause of cracked heels. Of course every aspect of our bodies including the skin need water to work properly.
- Obesity increases the pressure on the normal fat pad beneath the heel, causing it to expand sideways and crack.
- Lack of moisturization of the feet is yet another cause.
- Skin type is often genetic meaning that there is a risk you will develop cracked heels if it runs in the family.
- Shoes that rub or are loose can also cause cracked heels to develop.
- Of course, aging skin will lose elasticity, start to flake, become very dry and may lead to cracked heels.
- If you are taking prescription medications, there can be side effects that dry the skin, making it crack.
You can successfully treat cracked heels
Do not neglect cracked heels because they can turn into serious medical issues later. If you have itchy, flaky or patchy heels, start to treat the condition as soon as possible.
Try soaking the feet in warm water for roughly twenty minutes at night, followed by applying plenty of natural moisturizers before putting on cotton socks for the rest of the night. From time to time, use a pumice stone carefully to reduce any thickness of the hard skin in the heel area as this can decrease the risk of the hard skin cracking and splitting.
Also, try to avoid walking barefoot or wearing sandals or flip flops until your feet are 100% healthy. Even when your feet do heal, always remember to keep them well hydrated, especially in the heel area. Treat yourself to a moisturizing and soothing foot massage as this will also help immensely with the healing process.
Use H-Cracked Heels Formula to treat the cracked heels by penetrating deep into the skin, helping to moisturize while simultaneously reducing the dryness, cracking and pain associated with cracked feet.
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ipfh.org/foot-conditions/foot-conditions-a-z/cracked-heels/. (Accessed, 25 July 2021).
podantics.com.au/heel-callus-cracked-heels.html. (Accessed, 25 July 2021).
niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/preventing-diabetes-problems/keep-feet-healthy. (Accessed, 25 July 2021).