Caring For Cracked Heels
Cause of cracked heels?
Cracked heels, a common foot condition most of us experience, is also known as heel fissures. It’s more prevalent in women than in men and for some people, cracked heels can be very painful, especially when the fissures run deep into the skin. When the skin over heels is excessively dry, it tends to crack. On top of that, cracked heels are the result of increased pressure splitting the skin over the cushioned fat beneath the skin. Heel fissures are more prevalent for those in countries that experience winter, along with cold and dry conditions. Add decreased humidity in rooms due to heaters and fireplaces, these conditions further exacerbate the skin.
Treating Cracked Heels:
Use a pumice stone
Formed by melding lava and water, pumice stone is a natural product used to buff away rough patches and dry skin on heels. It’s easily found at local wellness stores. While it’s highly satisfying to witness all the dead and dry skin flake away, the trick is not to overdo it. When you use this tool frequently, it sends signals to the body to create more dry skin because the protective layer is gone. This results in dry skin build-up, which you wouldn’t want. It’s okay to occasionally use pumice stone, as long as you hydrate your heels after. If your heel fissures are quite thick and you’re apprehensive about using a tool, have it removed by a podiatrist instead. It’s highly inadvisable to take matters (and sharp tools) into your own hands to remove the skin. You could end up giving yourself an infection and injury.
Coconut oil for cracked heels
Coconut oil is excellent for cracked heels, due to its natural moisturising properties such as high concentration of vitamin E. Coconut oil also boasts a natural component called lauric acid, which has both antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. For the best results, we recommend applying coconut oil after your bath, or after soaking your foot. Bath water will provide moisture, while coconut oil will help to retain the moisture in.
Causes of cracked heels may vary from person to person. Sometimes, it could be caused by certain deficiencies, such as that of vitamins B, C E and minerals iron and zinc. A supplement may be helpful if you suspect this to be the issue, for example, if you already have anaemia.
Choosing the right footwear
Make sure your shoes fit properly and avoid wearing slip-on shoes to help lessen the likelihood of developing damaged skin around your heels. Too-loose shoes can result in calloused skin from continual rubbing of the shoe against the skin, while too-tight shoes can quickly create blisters and horns. So, it’s important to find yourself the right pair of shoes for your feet. Given our tropical weather, wearing flip-flops and open-back sandals are a given. Should you choose to wear them, be sure to moisturise your heels regularly so they suffer less.
Moisturise your feet daily
Moisturising your feet frequently is as important as the rest of the body, especially when cracked heels is a concern. Although applying thick layers of cream with socks overnight won’t hasten the healing process, it will keep the cream in place for absorption. You can use a pea-sized amount daily and it would do the trick. Moisturising your feet can also double as your self-care session.