By Samuel Peterson
Cracked heels are a very common problem and are often referred as heel fissures. Cracked heels are generally caused by xerosis which is nothing but dry skin. It becomes more complicated if the skin around the heels is thick. Most of the people ignore it assuming it to be a general problem. But if the cracks and fissures go deep they become very painful and also cause the skin to bleed even.
Cracked heels are generally characterized with dry skin and thick callus which appears as dark brown and discolored yellow area of skin, particularly the inside border of the heels. If the cracks are deep and bad enough, they are very painful especially during weight bearing. Wearing thin soled and open shoes makes them all the more worse.
Everyone wants to know why they are caused. Well some people generally have natural dry skin which makes them prone to cracking. And the callus around the heels crack due to various mechanical factors that poses pressure on the area for instance the walking style. Some other factors which cause cracked heels include:
–Standing for prolonged hours at home or office and especially on hard floors in uncomfortable shoes.
–Another main reason is being overweight. With increase in weight the pressure on the heels increase and compel them to crack.
–Wearing of open back shoes also lead to cracking of heels.
–Various skin diseases like eczema and psoriasis also pave the way.
–Some medical conditions give way to drying skin and hence cracked heels. For example underactive thyroid or autonomic neuropathy.
A consideration of an example can explain it better. Consider a tomato. If you press it from the above, it will tend to expand sideways and break free. This is exactly what happens on the heels. With the pressure of body weight, the fat of the heels tend to expand sideways and lead to cracking of the heels.
There are lots of over the counter products available which can aid in curing them. But all of the products demand prolonged use with optimum feet care or else the cracks tends to reappear again. These products are generally available in ointment forms which are to be applied at night.
Like always there are several natural ways by which you can say good bye to cracked heels. But again these also have to be applied regularly for effective results. Some of the natural strategies to combat the problem:
–Soak the heels in water and gently use a pumice stone to scrub off the dead skin. You can also use a foot scrubber but please be gently. After this apply a moisturizing lotion and cover the feet for sometime by wearing socks. This is a simple way for the excessive dryness to be removed.
–Add some wax to heated coconut oil. And apply after cooling.
–Take some melted paraffin wax, mix it with mustard oil, apply over the heels and leave it over night. Wash off in the morning.
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