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Cracked Heels - Symptoms and Treatment

Cracked heels are a very common foot problem and almost 85% of people suffer from this problem. Cracked heels are commonly caused by dry skin (xerosis), and made more complicated if the skin around the rim of the heel is thick (callus). For most people this is a nuisance and a cosmetic problem but when the fissures or cracks are deep, they are painful to stand on and the skin can bleed - in severe cases this can become infected. The heels appear yellow or dark brown depending on the skin type and are normally accompanied by dry skin. Symptoms include a hard growth of skin, usually on the outer edge of the heel. Patients may experience pain while walking and increased discomfort in thin soles or open back shoes.

Cracked heels are a sign of lack of attention to foot care rather than just overexposure or lack of moisturizing. Medically, cracked heels are also known as heel fissures. Fissures are regular linear cut wounds - mostly superficial which involve epidermis. If the Heel Fissures are deep, then it may also be accompanied with skin bleeds which causes a lot of pain. This problem is most common in summer seasons and warmer climates. Excessive pressure on the feet pads make the feet want to expand sideways. As the skin, surrounding the sides of the feet are dry they crack and cause cracked heels. Appearances of cracked heels also indicate zinc and omega-3 fatty acid deficiency. Though cracks in the skin may arise anywhere in the body the most common is area is the rim of the heel and web of toes, which happen to be the most frequently or constantly used parts of our body. The other key reason being thick or callus skin around the rim of the heel. Most of the foot problems arise due to neglect and oversight with regard to feet care. Cracked feet, corns and other common feet ailments can be attended to and are easily avoidable. Cracked heels are not a harmful in anyway except when the fissures or cracks are deep, and tend to become painful and the skin begins to bleed. This could lead to infection and is an avoidable situation mostly for those already suffering from chronic ailments such as diabetes or lowering immune system due to age or illness which may retard the treatment of cracked heels.

Causes of Cracked Heels

Common Causes of Cracked Heels :

  • Obesity
  • With advancing age, the chances of to get affected by cracked heels increases.
  • One of the main cause of Cracked Heels is - prolonged standing at work or home, especially on hard floors.
  • Surgery to the lower extremities
  • Wearing shoes which are not fit or shoes which don't make you feel comfortable.
  • Some medical conditions predispose to a drying skin, thus causing cracked heels.
  • Diabetes.
  • Athlete's foot.
  • Improperly fitting shoes.
  • In active sweat glands.
  • Eczema and psoriases can also be contributing factors.

Symptoms of Cracked Heels

Some common Symptoms of Cracked Heels :

  • Itchy skin.
  • Yellow or dark skin on the heel.
  • Red or flaky patches on the heel of the foot.
  • Pain while walking.
  • Appearance of flaky or red patches on the heel area.
  • Increase in pain when using shoes with open back and thin soles.

Treatment of Cracked Heels

  • Apply petroleum jelly or vaseline or paraffin oil after drying the area. It will help in recovering of your foot in normal condition.
  • Use pumice stone to reduce the thickness of the hard skin.
  • Take about three tablespoons of bees wax and mix one teaspoonful sesame oil in it. Warm it a little and apply on the affected areas.
  • Applying a moisturizing cream twice daily on the cracked heals may help to get rid of them fast.
  • Use warm sesame oil or ghee on the affected areas. It is the best home remedy for the treatment of cracked heels.
  • A heel cup may be used to keep the fat pad from expanding sideways. This is worn in the shoe and can be a very effective preventative measure if used regularly.
  • Avoid wearing open backed shoes or thin soled shoes.
  • Wear shoes with a good shock absorbing sole.








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