Dealing with Cracked Heels

Walking around barefoot or wearing flip-flops is one of the nicest and most laidback things about summer. The problem with this is that over exposure to air can cause the skin of the feet to dry out and become damaged and callused. On top of this, the constant pounding and pressure on the feet from walking makes the problem worse and can lead to the skin at the heels cracking and forming what are known as Heel Fissures. That these cracks look dirty and ugly is bad enough. The fact that this can be very painful and cause bleeding and infections to happen is even worse. There are things that can be done to prevent cracked heels from developing and if they do occur, to treat the condition at home.

Preventing Cracked Heels

The best way to prevent cracked heels is to keep your feet covered so that the skin does not dry out. This means wearing shoes even in summer. There are light ventilated shoes made for the hot weather that are not at all uncomfortable to wear. Keep in mind that keeping the skin from drying out does not mean allowing the feet to become and remain damp – that will lead to fungal infection. Drink lots of water to hydrate the body inside and out. Use a pumice stone a couple of times a week to scrub the dead skin from your feet and apply moisturizer on the feet every day. This simple routine should prevent cracked heels from developing.

Healing Cracked Heels

To start the healing process, the first thing to do is to remove the dry and dead skin from the feet. Before going to bed at night soak your feet in warm (not hot) water for about 20 minutes. Pat the feet dry and scrub the soles and the heels gently with a pumice stone or foot file. Be careful not to irritate or inflame the cracked parts of heel or the rest of the foot. As the dead skin is sloughed off, smoother softer skin underneath will be revealed. Rinse off the feet in warm water and pat them completely dry again. Once the skin is dry, apply a liberal portion of foot cream, special cracked heel cream, body butter or moisturizer to the feet and rub the topical application into the skin gently. Wear socks to cover the feet and keep the cream from staining the bed sheets. The improvement in the condition will be noticeable by the next morning. Continue with the treatment regimen until the cracked heels have completely disappeared.

If you have an exercise routine that puts a lot of pressure on the feet, switch to something else to relieve the pressure until the cracked heel problem is taken care of.

If you spend a lot of time at the beach, there is a natural way to remove the dead skin. Walk barefoot in the wet sand which will act like a gentle abrasive and rub off the dead skin from the feet each time a foot sinks into the thick wet sand.

For Extreme Cases

If the home treatments for cracked heels do not produce results the cause is usually because the feet are too dry or the cracks are too deep to be cured in this manner. The only thing to do in such cases is to visit a specialist foot doctor. The podiatrist will examine the feet to determine what is causing the problem and then provide treatment to cure the condition. He or she will also advise you of a foot care routine which will prevent the condition from recurring.


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