No one likes to feel pain when they walk but certain foot-related problems can be petty debilitating. The worse they get, the longer they can take to heal and although it is a problem that can go away, certain things can be done to speed the process. Anyone who has experienced deeply cracked heels will know how important this can be so let’s take a look at how to heal them and the reasons behind their formation.
What Causes Deep Cracked Heels?
There are several ways your feet can start to crack around the heel and some are more common than others. It all centers around dry skin which is why it is important to make sure you remedy this at the first sign of dryness.
Other causes include obesity, long periods of standing, and poorly fitting footwear. So, this is a common problem for people who stand a lot as part of their work such as nurses and anyone who works in the service industry.
When constant weight is combined with the pressure of standing it pushes on the fat around your heel and causes the skin to expand which in turn results in cracked heels. Other causes include long hot showers, regular use of harsh soaps, and climate like low temperatures.
Other Symptoms of Cracked Heels
The cracking is usually the sign of a problem that has worsened but other symptoms can lead to cracked heels or show at the same time. These include the need to itch the area, flaky skin, bleeding, pain ranging from minor to severe, and inflammation.
If it is caused by an infection, you may find that there is swelling, redness, or even warmth in the area. If you experience these then consult a Doctor.
So, How Do You Heal Them?
Thankfully there are several ways of helping this problem to heal and although some are easier than others, here are a few ideas.
Wear Cotton Socks At Night
One of the easiest ways to help alleviate deep cracked heels is by wearing 100% cotton socks over a heel that has been covered in petroleum jelly. This helps to lock much-needed moisture whilst giving your feet a chance to breathe.
Over the week, the heel should soften which will help it to heal and alleviate some of the pain.
Use A Quality Keralytonic Foot Cream
It is best to avoid standard products and go for a specialist foot cream. These will help to soothe and in turn heal the area and can be used all over. Get this purchase right and you will get the benefits of a hydrating cream that might contain essential oils or other ingredients such as Urea which can increase moisture levels in the skin and can exfoliate, making it perfect for dry skin.
These ingredients loosen thick skin so it can let in more moisture and ease discomfort.
Exfoliate The Area
Even if this is not specific to your heal area, this process can help to soften dry skin which tends to be thicker, causing deeper and more painful cracks.
- Start by soaking your feet in warm water for around 15 – 20 minutes
- A pumice stone or foot scrubber can be used to remove hard skin
- Pat your feet dry before applying a foot cream
- Cover the area in petroleum jelly and wear cotton socks to avoid making a mess
This popular ingredient might already be at your disposal so it makes for an easy alternative to foot cream. Since it is already used in a variety of beauty and healing techniques, it is hardly a surprise to find that it is an effective moisture retainer.
Because it is anti-inflammatory it can prevent bleeding it can help with some of the pain and discomfort. Although it is not as effective when it comes to soaking into the skin, it is a good way of stopping loose skin from snagging on the duvet at night when spread over the heel and covered with cotton socks.
Another home remedy can be effective and is a good solution, especially if you are waiting for moisturizers to arrive. Since honey has antibacterial properties it can help to clean the area around the heel. The texture is soothing and can moisturize at the same time.
What To Do If The Condition Worsens
After using a foot cream or home remedy for a while it can be a good idea to consult your doctor if there are no signs of improvement. One the condition is severe you may find that your Doctor offers alternative treatments that can involve medical glue that seals cracks, a procedure to remove the dead skin, antibiotics in the case of infection, or a heel strap and advice on walking to ease the discomfort.
Footwear Tips For Avoiding Cracked Heels
Once you have healed the area, it is in your interest to ensure it doesn’t return. Even if you are showing early signs it can be a good idea to take steps towards stopping it from worsening.
To start, sandals and flips flops should be avoided as they can lead to dry skin. Even in the warmer months, it is best to wear something that doesn’t expose your feet to the elements.
When it comes to shoes, make sure you have plenty of heel support, there are specialist sneakers that are made with this in mind. Any shoe with a skinny heel can put added pressure on your heels and cause them to expand sideways which is one of the common causes of cracked heels.
Other Ways To Avoid Cracked Heels
On top of the above, you should try to change your standing position before your feet get used to one stance and add pressure to one area of your foot. Even sitting with legs crossed for too long can put more weight on one side.
Silicone heel cups are a good way of ensuring your heel gets more moisture than it usually would and prevents the heel from expanding. Some of the simplest ways to avoid cracked heels are by checking your feet after you shower, exfoliating regularly, and staying hydrated by drinking lots of water.