What Are Cracked Heels?
In medical terms cracked heels are known as heel fissures. They are a sign of lack of moisturizing and attention to foot care Fissures are regular linear cut wounds and mostly affect the topmost layer of the skin; epidermis. Occasionally, it may get deep into the dermis and become painful.
Cracks in the skin are most common in the rim of the heel and web of toes, which are the most frequently, used parts of our body. 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. From a medical point of view, cracked heels are benign until the cracks get deep, start paining and bleeding. Deeper cracks may also lead to infection. Home remedies for cracked heels are the best way to deal with this problem.
Causes Of Cracked Heels
• Naturally dry skin or thick dry skin (callus) around the heel.
• Prolonged standing at work or home.
• Being overweight may increase the pressure on the normal fat pad under the heel, causing it to expand sideways and if the skin lacks flexibility the pressure on the feet lead to cracked heels.
• Inactive sweat glands, mal-alignment of the metatarsal bones or high arched feet.
• Back-open sandals or shoes allow the fat under the heel to expand sideways and increases the possibility of cracks on the heels.
• Disease and Disorders-Athlete’s foot, Psoriasis, Eczema, Thyroid disease, Diabetes and some other skin conditions may also cause cracked heels.
• Ill fitting shoes, unhygienic circumstances or deficiency of vitamins, minerals and zinc may also lead to cracked heals.
Symptoms Of Cracked Heels
Yellow or dark skin on the heels, red, flaky patches, peeling and cracked skin, pain while walking, increased pain in thin soles or open back shoes, itchy skin and bleeding or discharge from cracks are symptoms of cracked heels.
Natural Home Remedies For Cracked Heels
Though Medicines are available for quick relief from the problem but it is best to use home remedies for cracked heels.
• Apply the pulp of a ripe banana on the dry or cracked area of the heel. Leave it on for 10 minutes and rinse it clean.
• Apply hydrogenated vegetable oil on clean, dry feet and leave it overnight.
• Soak the feet in lemon juice for about 10minutes. Follow this therapy on a weekly basis until one finds a change. • Apply Shea butter on the dry and cracked area of the heels.
• Liberal application of herbal moisturizers or creams is a good cure for dry or cracked heels.
• Make a healing mixture comprising of: one teaspoon Vaseline and the juice of one lemon. Rub this mixture onto the heels till it is thoroughly absorbed.
• A regular application of a mixture of glycerin and rosewater is known to soothe and cure cracked heels.
• Melt paraffin wax and mix it well with little mustard oil. Apply on the heels. Rinse it off in the morning.
These are few very efficient home remedies for cracked heels and should be definately tried for relief.
Diet For Cracked Heels
Apart from the causes mentioned above, a deficiency of vitamins, minerals, zinc and omega 3 fatty acids also results in cracked heels. Therefore it is essential to ingest sufficient amount of these things either as part of one’s food or as supplements.
Vegetable oils, green vegetables, cereals, wheat germ, whole-grain products and nuts are vitamin rich foods. Milk, cheese, yogurt, goat’s milk, fortified soya milk, juices, cereals and broccoli are excellent sources of calcium. Meat, chicken, fish, cereals, eggs, vegetables and beans are good sources of iron. Oysters, kidney beans, yogurt, brown rice, spaghetti are rich in zinc. Omega-3 fatty acids are largely found in purslane herb, cold water fish and flax seeds.
Proper intake of essential items shall reduce the incidence of cracked heels.