What causes painful dry cracked heels?
I have had cracked heels ever since I can remember. I have spent years searching for remedies to cure and fix them. One of the first things I figured out is that you have to know what is causing them before you try to fix them. In this blog post, I will share with you some of the causes of cracked heels. I also will share some tips to fix cracked heels too. Please remember to check with your doctor before attempting to fix your cracked heels.
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* Health disclaimer, See below.
Are you concerned about the deteriorating state of your heels? Are you curious about what causes cracked heels? Are your cracked heels or heel fissures hereditary?
The skin around the heels is sensitive, and even the slightest neglect can lead to damage to the skin. Some people think that cracked heels show a lack of personal care, but this is not always true.
Cracked heels are also referred to as heel fissures. It can range from a cosmetic issue to a painful problem, depending on its severity. Heel fissures or cracked heels occur when the skin on the outer edge or bottom of the heel becomes hard, flaky, or dry.
Dry skin is the most natural cause of cracked heels. When the skin around the heel gets dried, or thick callous has developed around the rim, it loses its elasticity. Thus, callous does not flex along with the inner layers of skin tissue.
Impact and friction between layers of tissue while walking trigger cracking on the outer skin. Once cracks develop on the heel, the cracks go deeper due to ground reaction forces and result in damage to the dermis layer. This can be very painful.
There is a common misconception among people that cracked heels (heel fissures) are caused due to dryness. But, dry skin is not the only culprit for cracked heels, other reasons that cause cracked heels include :
•Excessive exposure to wetness can cause cracked heels
During activities that involve remaining in water for a prolonged period of time, the strength of the skin is affected. It leads to dryness on a layer of skin and causes cracked heels.
•Sweating can lead to painful cracked heels
When sweat around the heel area does not evaporate, or the person is prone to excessive sweating, the skin around the heel becomes soggy. Dampness triggers the development of callus—the formation of callus results in cracking of the skin.
•Standing on hard surfaces can help cause heel problems
When a person stands on hard surfaces, especially, barefooted, for long periods of time, mechanical forces cause heels to crack. If a person is obese or overweight, there is a higher probability of heel cracking due to excess pressure on the heels.
•Calluses and corns can lead to the development of cracked heels
When the area around the heel becomes thick, it leads to the development of corns and calluses. If there is an increase in pressure on the heel, it leads the heel to spread sideways, causing painful deep cracking.
•Diseases linked to cracked heels aka heel fissures
Illness or metabolic disorder that causes the skin to dry leads to cracked heels. This includes diseases like diabetes, Thyroid, Eczema, Psoriasis, and others.
•Dehydration is a factor in cracked heels
Water is your body’s principal chemical component and makes up about 60 percent of your body weight. Your body depends on water to survive. Every cell, tissue, and organ in your body needs water to work correctly.
EPodiatry.com reports that this “increases the pressure on the normal fat pad under the heel, causing it to expand sideways — if the skin is not supple and flexible, the pressures to ‘crack’ are high.”
•Vitamin and mineral deficiency can cause cracked heels
One way to fight cracked heels is to look at your diet and see if you may have a deficiency in vitamins or minerals. Vitamin Deficiency and Cracked heels(click to read the post) is a fantastic article on all the minerals and vitamins you may be lacking that cause cracked heels.
•Not moisturizing your feet with a quality cream
Don’t cheap out on foot care lotions. They won’t penetrate the think heel skin. Take a look at our post Our most recommended products (Click to read the post)post for recommendations!
•Genetics can cause cracked heels
Skin type is often genetic. Some heels get very thick callus, but don’t crack; others have no callus at all. The chances are that if your parents have cracked heels, you will get them too.
•Shoes that don’t fit properly
When your shoes always rub or are too loose, you are at risk of cracked heels! Read more about 5 ways to fix pain in your feet to get a better idea of this.
•Ageing skin can lead to cracked heels
As you get older, your skin starts to lose elasticity and can begin to flake and become very dry.
•Medications + cracked heels.
Some medications are the causes of cracked heels or heel fissures. It can make your skin dry up and make your skin crack. Make sure to ask your pharmacist for any side effects of medications that you may be taking.
Do not neglect cracked heels because they can turn into serious medical issues later. Look for itchy, flaky or patchy heels as these are common symptoms of cracked heels. Start immediate treatment or contact a doctor, podiatrist or esthetician if the problem persists.
Product recommendations for cracked heels and heel fissures:
A really great way to get rid of cracked heels is to do regular DIY pedicures. These are some of the best “kits” that are recommended:
*The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this Website.
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