How to Heal Cracked Heels
This common foot problem is often unnoticed or neglected and yet caring for our feet including our heels should be as important as looking after the rest of our body.
While cracked heels can occur both in adults and children, it affects women the most. Cracked heels may cause discomfort when going barefoot but cracks in the heels can sometimes become very deep and cause pain.
When the sensitive skin on the bottom of the feet and heels becomes too dry, it can split open, leaving painful cracks called fissures on your heels. Those cracks may not only make it painful to walk but can also lead to serious infections. These cracks are usually caused by extreme dryness.
There are several reasons why cracked heels occur
- Cold winter weather
- Dehydration, or not drinking enough water
- Not moisturizing your feet
- Taking very hot baths or showers
- Soaking in a hot bath for too long or too frequently
- Using harsh, drying soaps on your feet
- Scrubbing feet dry
- Going barefoot or wearing sandals or flip flops
The two biggest risk factors for cracked heels are diabetes and obesity
Those with diabetes are even more likely to sustain an infection from cracked heels while obesity increases your chances of having cracked heels because there is even more weight on the heel pad, causing it to expand out further and dry skin is unable to handle the added pressure and cracks.
How to Treat Your Cracked Heels
- Keeping the heels moisturized, applying two to three times a day.
- Soak and exfoliate your feet. Keep your feet in lukewarm, soapy water for up to 20 minutes, using a loofah, foot scrubber or pumice stone to remove any hard, thick skin before gently patting your feet dry. This is especially effective at night.
- Apply H-Cracked Heels Formula to the affected area and cover with socks overnight. The formula will spend the time penetrating deep into the skin, helping to effectively moisturize while simultaneously reducing the dryness, cracking and pain associated with cracked feet.
- Alternatives include Manuka honey or Coconut Oil to help the skin retain moisture. The hone has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, helping to heal and cleanse wounds while moisturizing the skin. The honey can be used as a foot scrub after a soak or apply as a foot mask overnight. Coconut oil is often recommended for dry skin, eczema and psoriasis to help the skin retain moisture. With its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, the coconut oil could be helpful for your cracked heels especially if they are prone to bleeding or infections.
- Avoid scrubbing your feet when they are dry as this can increase the risk for damaged skin.
Be aware that you should not treat cracked heels on your own if they are caused by a medical condition. Once you have successfully treated your cracked heels, 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.
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http://www.ipfh.org/foot-conditions/foot-conditions-a-z/cracked-heels/causes-of-cracked-heels/. (Accessed, July 12, 2021).
Cracked heels. (n.d.)
https://www.foothealthfacts.org/conditions/cracked-heels.(Accessed, July 12, 2021).
Dermatologists' top tips for relieving dry skin. (n.d.)
https://www.aad.org/public/skin-hair-nails/skin-care/dry-skin. (Accessed, July 12, 2021).
Dry skin: Diagnosis and treatment. (n.d.)
https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/dry-sweaty-skin/dry-skin#treatment. (Accessed, July 12, 2021).
Emollients. (2014, August 19)
http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Emollients/Pages/Introduction.aspx. (Accessed, July 12, 2021).