Cracked heels are otherwise known as heel fissures. The cracked heels are seen to appear on the bottom outer edge of the skin of the leg. The outer side along the edge becomes dry, very hard and flaky and causes mild fissures on the heels. There are also cases where the fissures are deep that might be painful and also might lead to bleeding. This is a rare occurrence. It is commonly seen in both men and women. A woman is very conscious about having cracked heels on her heels whereas men are easy with it. There are times when women feel so embarrassed about their cracked heels that do not feel like going outside of their homes and also loses self confidence to move freely with people. They are splits in the skin that you see around the heels.
What Are Cracked Heels?
The skin normally splits when it is not flexible to deal with the pressure that it is undergoing while a person is walking, running or standing. If there is water in the skin, then the skin will be flexible and when the water content is not seen on the skin it tends to become dry. The pressure that you put on your heels from your body weight while you strand and run causes the dry heel skin to split if it is not able to cope up with the pressure that you are applying on the heels. Normally, the skin would stretch and spread out a little to bear your weight. But, once it reaches the maximum limit that it could stretch it becomes inflexible and begins to split.
Causes For Cracked Heels
Heel fissures can hit anyone at anytime. Some of the factors that are responsible for cracked heels are:
- Being obese or overweight
- Walking on barefoot most of the time
- Regular use of sandals
- Living in dry climate regions
- Wearing open backed shoes all the time
- Thick hard and inflexible skin around the heels
- Walking or standing on your heels for a long time
- Pregnancy in women
- Lack of proper support from footwear around the heel area
- Prolonged standing on hard floors
- Inactive sweat glands
- Poor foot hygiene
- Athlete’s foot, Eczema and other skin conditions
- Deficiency in minerals, vitamins and zinc
- Use of ill-fitting shoes
- Thyroid and Diabetes diseases
- Flat feet or high arched heels
A lot of people who are suffering from cracked heels tend to be overweight. It is also seen very commonly in people who wear backless shoes always as well as people who like to wear sling back flats, slippers or shoes all the time. The fissures in the heels are a split that you see on the skin and there are chances for this split skin to easily catch infection. So, make sure that your surrounding environment is clean especially your floors and the areas on which you walk so that you reduce the chances of bacteria invading the skin fissures on your heels.
Signs And Symptoms Of Cracked Heels
The first sign that you need to look out if you are worried about suffering from cracked heels is to see whether there is the development of dry, hard and thickened skin around the heel area. This condition is known as callus and there are even chances for this to show up as yellow or dark brown discolored area on your skin. You will tend to notice small cracks on the callus which is a sign of cracked heels. If you leave these small fissures on your heels untreated, there are chances for these fissures to widen up and become deeper on regular walking and standing. After some time, the depth of the fissures increases and you will start to feel pain in your heels.
The following are the symptoms of cracked heels:
• Itchy feet
• Peeling of skin around heel region
• Very thick callus on the edge of your heel
• Yellow or dark brown colored skin around your heels
• Cracked skin
• Red patches or flaky heels
• Bleeding in severe cases
Some of the risk factors that will cause cracked heels are:
• Walking barefooted for long periods
• Inactive sweat glands
• Lack of necessary moisture to the heel region
Prevention Of Cracked Heels
• One of the most important things that you need to do if you note that you have signs and symptoms of cracked heels is to keep your feet as moisturized as possible at all times.
• You can also use a soft foot file on your cracked heels at regular intervals to reduce the development of the heel fissures and to remove dry and dead skins from your heels.
• You need to understand that getting back crack-free heels will not happen overnight.
• You need to have patience and time by your side to get back wonderful looking and crack free heels.
• Filing regularly with a soft foot file will show improved results after a few days.
Treatment For Cracked Heels
The most important treatment that you can think of for cracked heels or heel fissures is to keep your feet moisturized and this can be done by drinking plenty of water or even applying moisturizers or heel care lotions that are easily available as over the counter lotions in the market. But, if you have thick, inflexible and dry skin around the heel area, then you will need to first remove the dead and the dry skin around your heels with a good and soft foot file. Once the dead and dry skin is removed from your heel area, you can use these heel care lotions and moisturizers to reduce the effect of cracked heels.
Home Remedies For Cracked Heels
Foot care is very essential if you want to have attractive and good looking feet. In fact, it is very important for you to keep your feet neat, clean and tidy as it is the one part of your body that is exposed to the ground always. Home remedies for cracked heels are the best cost effective methods to treat your heel skin problems. Some of the very common home remedies for cracked heels are:
Use Of Oils
Hydrogenated vegetable oil is said to be really good for your cracked heel problems. Some of the oils that offer good results for cracked heels are: sesame oil, coconut oil and olive oil apart from vegetable oil.
- It is important for you to first clean your feet with soap and water and pat it dry.
- If you see cracks in your skin, then you need to use a pumice stone or a soft foot file to remove most of the dead and dry skin.
- Now, clean the area, wash it and apply any oil on the soles and the heels liberally.
- Leave this application on your feet overnight and you will see effective results in a week’s time on regular application.
You can also use ripe bananas to cure cracked heels. You need to apply mashed ripe bananas to your cleaned cracked heels and leave it there for ten to fifteen minutes. Then you need to wash the feet nicely with warm water and then later dip the feet in cold water for ten minutes.
If you are experiencing pain from your cracked heels, then paraffin wax is the ideal ingredient that will give you relief from pain instantly. Mix the paraffin wax with coconut or mustard oil and then heat it so that the wax melts. Now, apply this mixture on the cracked heels after bringing it down to cool temperature. Apply this mixture, leave it overnight and wash it off in the morning and you will enjoy great results.
Applying lemon juice on the cracked heel areas will help in softening your skin as it has great acidic properties. You can also soak your feet in a bucket of lukewarm water mixed with lemon juice for 10 to 15 minutes to hydrate your feet. Then clean the feet and heels with a pumice stone and pat your feet dry.
Rice Flour With Honey And Vinegar
To remove of your dead skins around the heels of your feet, you can make a natural scrub with ingredients like rice flour, apple cider vinegar and honey.
• Take 2 tablespoons of rice flour and mix it with 2 to 3 teaspoons of honey and vinegar to make a thick paste.
• Soak feet in warm water for ten minutes and then apply this scrub paste on your cracked heels and wash it after it gets dry. It will help in removing dead skin effectively.
Honey is one of the most popular home remedies for cracked heels that you can use on your feet as it has antibacterial as well as moisturizing properties. It can take care of your dry feet as well as cracked heels. Mix 2 to 3 tablespoons of honey in a bucket of warm water and soak your feet in the water for 15 minutes. This will make your feet moist and supple.
Put your clean and neat feet in a bucket of salty warm water, preferable stone salt water. Leave it for 15 minutes. Now, remove your feet and place it in a cold water bucket for about 10 minutes and this will help in improving blood circulation in your feet.
Indian Lilac Or Neem Leaves
Apply crushed need leaves paste and turmeric powder paste in the cracked area of your heels and leave it there to dry for 30 to 45 minutes. Wash away the paste and pat dry your feet. The Indian lilac leaves have fungicidal properties which will prevent cracked heels from reappearing soon.
It is important to regularly scrub your cracked heels with a pumice stone or a soft foot file to get rid of dead skin, Applying this treated heels with petroleum jelly will make the heels soft and moisturized and you can use this remedy daily before hitting the bed to have lovely and crack free heels.
Rosewater And Glycerin
One of the easy and effective home remedies for cracked heels is mixing equal amounts of glycerine and rosewater and rubbing this mixture on the cracked heels and all over the feet. This will keep the skin soft for long hours and you can apply it whenever you want to go outside. This will keep your cracks under control.
It is very important for you to keep your body hydrated at all times and this will prevent your feet from going dry. Hence, consuming at least 12 to 15 glasses of water every day will provide the necessary elasticity for your heel skin and prevent it from cracking.
It is important for you to improve on the calcium intake to reduce the effects of cracked heels on your feet. You need to add yoghurt or milk or cheese or fish or broccoli or soya milk or juices in your daily diet.
Vitamin E And Iron Foods
One of the best options to reduce the symptoms of cracked heels is to add Vitamin E rich foods in your daily diet. Foods like vegetable oil, green vegetables, nuts and whole grain products are an important source of Vitamin E. Iron is also very essential for curing cracked heels and you need to take in required amounts of iron daily. Some of the foods that are rich source of iron are: meat, chicken and fish.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Some of the foods like flaxseeds, flaxseed oil, cold water fish and purslane herb are known to be rich sources of Omega 3 fatty acids which help in reducing the effect of cracked heels.
Are you feeling really awkward seeing fissures on your heels? Do you want to know the right home remedies for cracked heels that can solve your cracked heel problems? Try the above mentioned home remedies and make your feet feel soft and beautiful.