How To Help Heal Cracked Heels | Amoils.com
The problem of cracked heels will often be really noticeable by the end of the summer, making NOW the perfect time to remedy the situation before the dryness of cold winter weather adds to this problem.
Why do we get cracked heels?
Cracked heels can be caused by negligent foot care as well as dryness while vitamin, zinc and omega-3 fatty acid deficiencies can also contribute.
Our feet do a lot of hard work for us and deserve some care and attention in return.
The medical term for cracks in our heels is “heel fissures” where little cuts appear in the epidermis area of the heel but sometimes extend deep into the dermis itself, becoming very painful. All that walking and pressure on the heels and feet pads cause the feet to expand sideways. If you spend hours every day on your feet, if you are overweight or if with aging your sebum production has diminished leading to dryness you stand a greater risk of cracked heels.
All and any foot problems deserve prompt attention
What are the symptoms of cracked feet?
- These can be red or flaky patches on the heels
- Peeling and cracked skin
- Itchy skin
- Actual cracks
- Finally bleeding or discharge from the cracks themselves.
Adding to the symptoms is the risk of an infection occurring in the cracks.
Establish a foot care routine
- Wash the feet every day (or more often if possible) using warm water (not hot) and a mild natural soap before drying the feet thoroughly.
- While the skin is still soft, gently use a pumice stone to rub away any dead, thick skin on your heels.
- Rub a natural moisturizer or heel balm into your heels 2 to 3 times a day to soften and hydrate the cracked skin or use an essential oils product to actually treat the condition.
- The ideal time to follow these steps is at bedtime so that you can then encase your feet in thick socks and allow the treatment to penetrate the dry, thick skin overnight.
Hydration is the enemy of dryness so make sure you drink plenty of water and keep your surroundings less dry too. You can achieve this by keeping the temperature in your home as cool as possible while increasing the humidity level by using a room humidifier.
Remember that your shoes are important too – those with open backs or ones that are too tight (so that they rub against the back of your feet) can lead to cracked heels in the first place or worsen existing ones.
Oils have the edge on creams
When it comes to treating skin conditions, oils are superior to creams. This is because essential oils have so many different natural properties such as anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, antiseptic and many more so by their very nature they are not going to allow bacteria and other infections to take a hold. They will in fact actively work to prevent these. Commercially produced creams contain sulfonamides and up to 5 different types of alcohol which are very drying and irritating to the skin – the complete opposite of the moisturizing action required.
How your diet can prevent or treat cracked heels
I have touched on deficiencies in your diet earlier on so just want to emphasize that zinc-rich foods include oysters, organic chicken, crab, kidney beans, yogurt and brown rice while Omega-3 fatty acids are largely found in cold-water fish, and healthy oils such as flaxseed.
There are other important vitamins and minerals too that are necessary for healthy heels and they include:
- Vitamin A especially when taken as a supplement will help in the healing process. Some even advocate as much as 10 000 IU s to be taken daily for serious, deep cracked heels until healed.
- Vitamin E is always relevant to good skin health and can be found in green vegetables as well as sunflower seeds, almonds, hazelnuts, pine nuts, peanuts, dried basil, oregano, parsley, apricots (dried), papaya, green olives and avocado.
- Calcium, which can be found in organic raw certified cow or goat milk, organic cheeses, yogurt, dark leafy vegetables and broccoli. While most people get plenty of calcium, few realize that they also need the essential mineral magnesium for the proper absorption and utilization of calcium.
- Iron which can be derived from certified organic meats, including beef, chicken and fish, as well as organic free-range eggs, vegetables and beans.
Remember too that ensuring high levels of vitamins D and C are also very important for both your general and skin health.