What is a Cracked heel?
When the sensitive skin on the bottom of the feet and heels becomes too dry, it can split open, leaving painful cracks called fissures on your heels. Those cracks may not only make it painful to walk, but can also lead to serious infections.
Symptoms Of Cracked Feet:
The signs and symptoms of cracked heels indicate the external abuse of the feet or faulty internal activity.
Rough skin on the feet-
This is one of the first signs that indicate you are going to develop cracked feet. The callus skin around the heels will lead to cracks.
Red, flaky patches-
Red and flaky skin on the feet shows that your feet need more care. If you ignore the flaky skin the condition will worsen.
Cracks on the underside of the feet or fissures-
This symptom follows the red, flaky skin. Cracks on the feet are a definite sign of cracked feet and immediate remedy is required to improve the condition of the skin. Do not pull out the pieces of dry skin. Clip away the dead skin using small scissors.
The shrinking of the upper layers of the skin causes stretching of the skin below and this result in itching.
Rash caused by itching-
The itching if left untreated can lead to rash which may be painful. Get rid of the upper layers of the skin before you start any treatment for dry and cracked feet.
Bleeding or discharge from the cracks-
When the cracks affect the deeper layers of the skin bleeding or discharge from the cracks occurs. This increases the chances of infection of the cracked skin.
Symptoms worsening during winter-
The symptoms like dryness, itchiness and rash increases during cold climate.
Causes of Cracked Heels:
- Cold winter weather
- Dehydration, or not drinking enough water
- Not moisturizing your feet
- Taking very hot baths or showers
- Soaking in a hot bath for too long or too frequently
- Using harsh, drying soaps on your feet
- Scrubbing feet dry
- Having diabetes
Home Remedies for Cracked Heels:
1. Oil Massage:
Oils are natural moisturizers and several of them are especially effective for thick, cracked heels. Mixing a variety of moisturizing oils helps to increase the speed at which the heels soften. Massage your heels with a mixture of the following oils:
- Almond oil
- Olive oil
- Coconut oil
- Grapeseed oil
- Sesame oil
How to do it:
- Take about 10 minutes to thoroughly massage your feet, paying the most attention to your heels and other cracked areas.
- After you massage the oils in put on a pair of thick cotton socks so that the oils continue to go to work.
- It is best to do this right before bed so that the oils work as you sleep.
2. Shea Butter:
Organic shea butter is a rich emollient packed full of nutrients, such as vitamins A, D, E and F as well as antioxidants and essential fatty acids, to help combat dry skin. A little goes a long way with shea butter.
How to do it:
- You can soak feet in a bucket or large bowl (wide enough to fit both feet) and fill with warm water and 1 tbsp of shea butter for 15 minutes.
- Or you could you massage feet with 1-2 tbsp of shea butter and cover feet with socks(try these heel socks) overnight.