Cracked heels are a very common problem which can be a cosmetic issue or could later become a painful problem. It is easier to control the cracked heels if proper preventive measures are taken in the beginning.
Causes of cracked heels
Cracked heels can be caused by dry air, improper foot care,and imbalanced diet, aging, standing for long hours and wearing ill fitting shoes. Some diseases like eczema, corns, calluses thyroid and diabetes can also lead to cracked heels. Cracked heels can be found in overweight people. Excess weight tends to put pressure on the feet which expands the skin of the feet leading to cracks. Moisture of the skin replenished in cold weather and by using non-moisturizing soaps. This leads in formation of cracks or fissures on the heels. Advancement of age causes the loss of natural oils which leads to dryness that result into cracks. Keeping feet in water for long hours also lead to cracked heels.
Symptoms of cracked heels
The main symptoms of cracked heels are itching, redness, inflammation and peeling of the skin. If left untreated this condition can lead to deep cracks, bleeding and severe pain. The skin around the heel becomes rough. Often cracks are developed on the underside of the feet. The shrinking of the upper layer of the skin leads to stretching of the skin which leads to itchiness. Untreated itchiness may result into painful cracks. The cracks continue to affect the deeper layers of the skin. There can be bleeding or discharge from the cracks. The dryness and itchiness increases during the winter climate.
Preventing Cracked Feet
It is necessary to know the cause of cracked heels for example people with dry skin should try different measures to keep their feet moisturised. The skin of the feet can be moisturized with natural oils and creams. These products should be alcohol free and should not contain any skin irritants. Feet should be washed with mild soap and moisturizer applied while they are wet. The skin need to be kept hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Saunas and steam baths need to be avoided as they contribute to the dryness of the foot. It is necessary to wear proper fitting shoes which will allow the skin of the feet to breathe.
Home remedies for cracked heels
Oil massages with vegetable Oils
This includes olive oil, sesame oil, or coconut oil which are usually used to treat cracked heels. Soak feet in warm soapy water and scrub them with pumice stone. Wash and dry them properly. Now apply any vegetable oil on the heels and soles and wear socks. Repeat this process for a few days till the cracks on the heels are completely cured.
Lemon, Salt,Glycerine, Rose Water Foot Mask
This mask is one of the best home remedy to treat cracked heels in the first stage. Soak the feet in warm water in which raw salt, lemon juice, glycerine and rosewater is added. Scrub off the dry skin from the sole and heel. Now apply thick glycerine and lemon juice on the cracked heels. Cover the feet with socks and sleep overnight. Wash the feet in the morning.
Mashed Fruits Massage
Mashed ripe banana can be applied on cracked heels and left for 15 minutes before washing. Besides banana avocado or coconut flesh or papaya can also be used for treatment of cracked heels. This is a very easy remedy which you can easily avail without much trouble.
Exfoliating with rice flour
This is a good ingredient for exfoliating the skin of the heels. The removal of dead skin cells prevent the heels from dryness and cracking. Make a paste using rice flour, honey and apple cider vinegar. Soak the feet in warm water and then apply the paste. Repeat the process daily for effective results. If the cracks are deep olive oil or sweet almond oil can be added to the paste.
Wax & Mustard Oil Treatment
Wax & Mustard Oil Treatment for cracked heels is required when all other treatments fail. This treatment can be done by using wax and mustard oil. The two ingredients are heated to form a paste. Apply this on cracked heels after soaking the feet in warm water. It is better to fill the cracks with the wax paste and wear socks. This treatment is most effective if done before going to bed. The paste can be saved in a bottle and heated daily before applying it on the feet. Continue the treatment for about a week.