Dry and chapped feet and how to manage them
Cracked heels also known as heel fissures, are often a non-issue and a simple cosmetic problem and a nuisance, but they can also lead to serious medical problems especially when they are deep and bleeding.
Scientifically, the skin on the feet tends to become drier as there are no oil glands present there. This dryness causes the skin to become flaky and ultimately crack.
Dry cracked heels
- Lack of moisturization
- standing for long hours
- walking around barefoot, or with open-back sandals
- taking long, hot showers
- using harsh soaps that can strip your skin of natural oils
- shoes that don’t fit properly or support your heels
- dry skin due to climate, such as cold temperatures or low humidity.
It can also be as a result of medical conditions like vitamin deficiency, fungal infection, eczema, psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, diabetes, hypothyroidism, pregnancy, obesity, aging, juvenile plantar dermatosis and palmoplantar keratoderma, causes abnormal skin thickening on the soles and palms.
In severe cases, you may develop complications with a cracked heel, especially if it’s caused by a medical condition. Complications can include:
- a loss of feeling/sensation in your heel
- cellulitis, an infection
- diabetic foot ulcer.
How To avoid dry and cracked feet:
- Slather on thick foot cream at night and then cover your feet with socks to lock in moisture. Examples of heel creams include: Neutrogena Intense Cracked Heel Foot Cream Scholl Cracked Heel Repair Cream 25gm Carnation Crack Heel Cream 50ml
- Avoid standing in one position or sitting with your legs crossed for too long.
- Inspect your feet daily, especially if you have diabetes or another condition that causes dry skin.
- Wear custom shoe inserts (orthotics) Scholls Pain Relief Orthotics For Heel Pain Men 8-12 Scholl Shock Absorbing Insoles to cushion your heel and even out weight distribution.
- Wear good quality or clinically-tested padded socks.
- Incase of a fungal infection use an antifungal cream like Scholl Athlete’s Foot Cream
- Buff your feet regularly using Scholl Dual Action Foot File or use a pumice stone after showering a few times a week to help prevent thickening skin. But avoid removing calluses yourself if you have diabetes or neuropathy. You may inadvertently create a wound and increase your risk of infection.
- Regularly soak your feet in epsom bath salts and exfoliate your feet using The Body Shop Reviving Peppermint Pumice Foot Scrub
- Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.
- Use silicone heel cups to keep the heel moisturized and help prevent the heel pad from expanding.
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