Cracked heels or heel fissures have been a common problem that affects both men and women. Cracks on the sole can happen on one or both feet. Elderly people are more susceptible to this condition. Exerting substantial pressure on the sole of the feet for long periods of time can also cause cracked heels and this condition becomes worse during the winter months or among those who live in areas with dry climate.
Cracked heels are also an indication of an inadequate care for the foot and hygiene as well as an indication of nutritional deficiencies. This fissure causes severe pain, difficulty in standing, walking or even wearing footwear. Once this condition is not properly treated, it can bleed and cause infection.
Symptoms of cracked heels
- The skin becomes flaky and starts to peel. These are the first signs of cracks on the heels. The skin becomes white and eventually becomes red in color when the skin is severely dry.
- Development of small cracks found around the edges of the heel.
- The pressure place on the feet while walking causes the lesion to split open where the heels becomes sore, painful and tender.
- When there is no more moisture in the skin, it becomes tough and hard especially around the edges of the fissures. Take note that this can cause the delay in the healing because the skin does not join together.
Common causes of cracked heels
- Suffering from medical conditions such as diabetes and athlete’s foot
- Old age
- Poor circulation of blood to the feet
- Being obese or severely overweight
- Lack of proper hygiene or skin care around the heel
- Suffering from skin disorders such as psoriasis and eczema
- Using a footwear that is ill-fitting or loose around the heel and chafes the skin
- Putting plenty of pressure on the feet such as standing or walking for hours.
- Wearing shoes where the heels are exposed
- Nutritional deficiencies such as lack of calcium, iron, Vitamin E, zinc and omega 3 fatty acids in the diet.
Treatment and home remedies for cracked heels
- Soak the affected feet in warm water for at least 15-20 minutes in order to soften the skin.
- Eliminate the dead skin by using a file or a pumice stone.
- Pat dry the feet gently before applying a moisturizer. Allow to remain in the affected feet for 15 minutes so that it can totally absorb the moisturizer.
- In a bowl of warm water, squeeze the juice of a lemon. Add a few drops of shampoo and a teaspoon of petroleum jelly. Soak the affected feet in the soapy solution at least 15 to 20 minutes before rinsing and drying the feet.