Cracked heels can happen to anybody and they can occur for a number of reasons, from dry skin to open footwear. If you’ve noticed symptoms the skin on your heels thickening and feeling dry to the touch, or if you notice cracks on the heels, it is time to understand why this has happened and the ways to prevent cracked heels from making walking and standing difficult.
A wide range of different causes
There are several potential reasons for cracked heels. Your personal routine and lifestyle can provide a few pointers towards these reasons. Take a look through the causes underlined below, to see if there are any parallels with your own life. If there are, you must consider changing a few habits for better heel health.
The following are the most common causes of cracked heels:
- Dry skin – This is the most common cause of cracked heels. The skin on the underside of your feet is often drier and rougher than the skin on the rest of the body, so it has a higher potential for becoming cracked. The skin on the underside of the feet has less sweat glands than elsewhere, so it must be hydrated to keep the skin supple and soft. You can try tallow, which helps the skin become soft and prevents dryness. If the skin is particularly dry, it has lower elasticity and may aggravate other conditions as listed below.
- Deficiencies – This is a lack of vitamins, zinc and minerals in your diet.
- Pressure – Your feet carry your body weight when you stand or run.
- Aging skin – Aging has a factor to play in the foot skin becoming thick, scaly and dry. The first sign is cracked, thick skin as you age.
- Disorders – Cracked heels can be caused by such skin conditions as athlete’s foot, Psoriasis, Eczema, Thyroid disorders, Diabetes and some others.
- Obesity – Excess weight puts more pressure on the foot pad and the heel. The foot starts expanding sideways and if the skin is not very elastic, the heels can get cracked.
- Open footwear – Open-backed sandals or footwear allows the subcutaneous fat under the heel to expand sideways. This increases the chances of the heels developing cracks. It is important to wear shoes with closed backs and adequate heel support.
- Hygiene – Cracked heels can also happen when the feet are not properly cleaned or taken care of.
- Water – Exposure to too much water can strip the skin of its layer of natural oils. The skin then becomes rough and scaly. Cracked heels can occur when one stands or works in damp areas for prolonged periods of time.
- Ill-fitting shoes or standing in tight shoes or walking improperly can also cause cracked heels.
- Genetics – One’s skin is a product of one’s genetics. One may have a naturally dry or thick skin (callus) around the heel, which increases the probability of developing cracked heels.
Why Cracked Heels Happen
Cracked heels are caused when the skin around your heels splits or becomes weak. Both dryness and undue pressure on the heels causes them to crack, as the skin is not able to replenish its lost moisture and soon becomes so fragile that it breaks.
What can I do against cracked heels?
Daily foot hygiene and hydration using moisturizer and cleanser can keep the foot skin supple. Scholl Cracked Heel Repair Cream is composed of Keratin and 25% urea to help boost the natural renewal processes of the skin. The cream shows results in just three days! Try it today and watch your cracked heels seal themselves. You can also try changing your diet to include more calcium, zinc and iron-rich foods. These boost the skin health, but do check with your doctor first about modifying your diet if you are on any medication.
If you find that your symptoms persist even after treatment, then it is important to consult your doctor to find hitherto hidden health problems that may be causing the cracked heels.