Cracked heels are also known as heel fissures
Cracked heels usually develop when the skin around the rim of the heel is dry and thickened. The skin underneath your feet is often dry, rough and broken. This is because the skin around your heels has a relatively small number of sweat glands. If your skin is particularly dry, then cracked skin appears more easily because of less elasticity
Causes of cracked heels
- Lack of vitamins, minerals, and zinc in your diet can adversely affect your heel health.
2. Spending a long time standing at work or home can stress the skin on your heels.
- Thick, dry, scaly skin loses its elasticity with age, and as such cracks can have a higher incidence as you become older.
4. Athlete’s foot, psoriasis, eczema, thyroid disease, diabetes, and some other skin conditions can be the cause of cracked heels.
5. Being overweight can increase the pressure on the fat pad under the heel. This can cause it to expand sideways and, this leads to cracked heels.
- Open-back sandals or shoes can allow fat under the heel to expand sideways and increase the possibility of cracks on your heels.
7. Failing to keep your feet adequately clean can be a further cause of cracked heels.
- Water on your feet can take away natural oils from the skin and can leave the skin rough and/or dry.
9. Standing for prolonged periods in damp areas, such as a bathroom, can cause dry and cracked heels.
Tips to avoid cracked heels:
- Wearing shoes or boots with a closed heel can help heal and prevent cracks to the back of the foot.
- Wearing padded socks may protect the soft tissue of the foot.
- Wearing cotton socks with shoes may help reduce friction as well.
- Soak your feet weekly twice and clean using a pumice stone to debride the hard, thickened skin
- Avoid hot water, use warm water instead
- limit time in a bath or shower to 5-10 minutes to avoid more moisture loss
- Gently rub the skin with a towel to dry and apply a moisturizer immediately after the bath
- Taking care of your feet especially if you’re a diabetic to avoid fungal infection which in turn leads to cracked heels.
- Consuming a balanced, nutrient-rich diet, as well as niacin supplements, will help.
- Drinking plenty of water and losing weight if you are overweight, help prevent cracked heels too.
By doing above you will be kicking up your well-moisturized heels in no time.
……………………Dr. Krishna Priya