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Cracked-Heels - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment to Get Rid of It fast:

Alternative Name: Heel Fissures


Cracked heels are a very common foot problem and almost 85% of people suffer from this problem. Cracked heels are commonly caused by dry skin (xerosis), and made more complicated if the skin around the rim of the heel is thick (callus). They can lead to more serious conditions if not treated promptly. Heel fissures occur when the skin on the bottom, outer edge of the heel becomes hard, dry and flaky, sometimes causing deep fissures that can be painful or bleed.

Fissures are regular linear cut wounds - mostly superficial which involve epidermis. If the Heel Fissures are deep, then it may also be accompanied with skin bleeds which causes a lot of pain. This problem is most common in summer seasons and warmer climates.

Causes of Cracked Heels:

Some people tend to have a naturally dry skin that predisposes them to the cracks. The thickened dry skin ( callus ) around the heel that is more likely to crack is often due to mechanical factors that increase pressures in that area (eg the way you walk).

There are many causes of cracked heels. Some of the most common causes are:-

  • Prolonged Standing: One of the main cause of Cracked Heels is - prolonged standing at work or home, especially on hard floors.
  • Obesity: Overweight person are usually at more risk of developing cracked heels because of the increased pressure on the normal fat pad under the heel, causing it to expand sideways.
  • Age: With advancing age, the chances of to get affected by cracked heels increases.
  • Some medical conditions predispose to a drying skin, thus causing cracked heels.
  • Wearing shoes with an open back, may also affect your heels.
  • Mal-aligment of the metatarsal bones, may contribute to the cracked heels.
  • Wearing shoes which are not fit or shoes which don't make you feel comfortable.
  • Certain skin conditions may also cause cracked heels.

The occurrence of cracks may be due to some External or Internal factors.

External Factors

  • Change in walking posture.
  • Over or constant indulgence in water.
  • Unhygienic circumstances or conditions.

Internal Factors

  • Deformity of foot due to congenital problem or injury or diseases - Flat foot, calcaneal spurs, etc
  • Diseases like diabetes, eczema and psoriasis can also contribute to cracked feet.
  • Deficiency of some essential vitamins, minerals and zinc in your body may lead to cracked heels.

Symptoms for Cracked Heels:

If the cracks are deep, there may be pain on weight bearing and also there may be some bleeding too ( pain is not there when weight is off the heel). The edges or rim around the heel will generally have a thicker area of skin (callus). Wearing open or thin soled shoes usually make the symptoms worse.

The most common Symptoms of Cracked Heels are:

  • If there is a hard growth of skin on the outer edge of the heel, it shows the occurrence of cracked heels.
  • Yellow or dark skin on the heel are also one of the main symptom of cracked heels.
  • Pain while walking, may occur due to the presence of cracks in heels.
  • Increased pain in thin soles or open back shoes.
  • Red or flaky patches on the heel of the foot, may be seen in person's suffering from cracked heels.
  • Peeling and Cracked Skin.
  • There will be itchy skin around the affected area.

Treatment for Cracked Heels:

Some of the effective treatment for Cracked Heels are as:-

  • If Cracked Heels are very painful, strapping may be used to 'hold' the cracks together during the healing process.
  • Insoles may be recommended to alter the way you walk to prevent callous from developing on the heels. It is very beneficial for fast recovery.
  • A heel cup may be used to keep the fat pad from expanding sideways. This is worn in the shoe and can be a very effective preventative measure if used regularly.
  • Applying a moisturizing cream twice daily on the cracked heals may help to get rid of them fast.
  • Use pumice stone to reduce the thickness of the hard skin.
  • Buy shoes with a good shock absorbing sole.
  • Take about three tablespoons of bees wax and mix one teaspoonful sesame oil in it. Warm it a little and apply on the affected areas.
  • Use warm sesame oil or ghee on the affected areas. It is the best home remedy for the treatment of cracked heels.
  • Don't be cruel in removing the thick skin to prevent injury.
  • Apply petroleum jelly or vaseline or paraffin oil after drying the area. It will help in recovering of your foot in normal condition.
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