What causes painful cracked heels? What do severe cracked heels look like in pictures? For the answers to these questions read the whole article, discover what causes cracked heels, painful cracked heels, and severely cracked heels.
If you love your feet and take good care of them, you would be the first to notice any cracks on your heels. Cracked heels occur in both men and women adults and more so in the female population. According to a foot health evaluation carried out by the Institute for Preventive Foot Health in 2012, cracked heels are 50% more in women than in men. Women carry pregnancies, hence, the fact they are the majority with cracked heels due to pressure applied to that section.
Whatever the case, cracked heels are nasty and no one would want to be caught wearing summery sandals and mules with them. The good thing is that it is possible to get rid of cracked heels at home or in a podiatrist’s office. However, it takes patience and good foot care regimen to achieve baby soft and supple heels. What causes cracked heels that can be painful and severe? Find out in a bit.
What Causes Cracked Heels – Causes of Cracked Heels Three Kinds
You may have suffered from cracked heels for a long time without a tangible solution. This does not mean that you should give up. It could be that you have not identified the real cause of your problem. While it is okay to try different home remedies for cracked heels, you will not have complete success if you do not know the exact cause because it would mean they could crack again.
Cracked heels are medically known as heel fissures. What causes cracked heels can be classified into three different categories.
1. Lack of Moisture on the Heels
The causes of cracked heels in the first category are those that deprive your heels enough moisture. You may deprive your heels their natural moisture and fail to give them any from the way you groom them. Here are a few ways to deprive them moisture:
- Failing to moisturize your feet at all or less frequently
- Taking hot showers or baths
- Failing to drink at least 8 glasses of water per day
- Soaking feet too often in hot water instead of warm water
- Walking on damp surfaces for too long
- Using harsh soaps or detergents on feet
2. Excessive and Prolonged Pressure on Heels
What causes cracked heels also is excessive and prolonged application of pressure to heels. This happens when:
- You stand for long hours either due to the requirements of your job
- You walk for too long
- You walk barefoot on hard surfaces
- You are pregnant or overweight.
- You wear open-back shoes such as sandals, flip flops or mules regular, and very flat shoes
3. Health Conditions
If you have cracked heels, it could also be an indication that you have underlying illness. You may require seeing your doctor to conduct tests on you to determine what exactly is causing the heels to appear cracked. Some of the health conditions that cause cracked heels include:
- Diabetes, cracked heels diabetes require monitoring by a doctor to avoid an incurable infection on the heels. This is because people with diabetes loose their sense of touch on their feet in severe cases of diabetes. Cracked heels diabetes should therefore not be treated at home without authorization from a doctor.
- Thyroid Disease
- Severe cases of circulatory problems
- Nutritional deficiencies of Vitamin E, iron, calcium, omega 3 fatty acids and zinc
Painful Cracked Heels Tips for Healing
Sometimes cracked heels may get worse and they start to become painful. Painful cracked heels can make walking and standing difficult. If you experience pain, you should avoid rubbing them with pumice, loofahs or metal foot files at all costs.
Furthermore, you should see a podiatrist to prescribe a cream that would work at exfoliating, moisturizing and relieving the pain fast. The pain could also be a sign of an infection trying to build up in the cracks. Therefore, if they get itchy, do avoid scratching them.
There are certain creams that can reduce painful cracked heels. You should apply these after soaking feet in water with some Epsom salts for 10 minutes. Ensure the water is warm and do not exceed the 10 minutes. You can use a soft cloth to remove excess dirt gently.
Remove the feet from the water and dab the heels dry before putting a good dose of
- Sudocrem Zinc Cream on the painful cracked heels
- Udder cream also Bag Cream
- Flexitol Heel Cream
- Baby oil
- 100% pure Tea Tree Oil
Any of the above creams should relieve pain on your cracked heels. A band-aid should also go on the heels and on top of that, a thick pair of cotton socks to lock in moisture in your heels overnight.
Painful Severely Cracked Heels Treatment
If the pain does not subside within a week, book an appointment with a podiatrist who can treat your severely cracked heels in his or her office. The podiatrist may do the following for your painful severely cracked heels:
- Safely cut away the hard skin
- Strap the cracks with liquid, gel or spray bandage to reduce pain and allow the fissures to heal. This strapping will also reduce your heels movement
- Give a prescriptions of salicylic acid creams and creams with 25% of urea
- The podiatrist may also give heel cups, heel pads, or insoles to provide your heels with better support.
Do not try to cut away the excessive skin from home as you could damage a nerve or create room for infections. Similarly, if you visit a podiatrist he or she can diagnose the cause of your cracked heels and offer treatment or advice on where to go for proper treatment.
Cracked Heels Fungus-Cracks from Damp Places
If you have athlete’s foot, you may also find yourself suffering from cracked heels fungus. These can be itchy and sometimes change in color. You can treat these easily at home by soaking daily for the first week then once weekly after the fungus is gone. Additionally, in order to cure the fungus you can use antifungal creams or
- 100% Tea Tree oil, apply twice daily
- Crushed Garlic, apply on the cracked heels and use paper bag or band aid before wearing socks over plastic bag to lock the moisture and heal the fungus.
Pictures of Cracked Heels
Here are some pictures of cracked heels for if you have do not know what they look like. As you can see they are quite an unattractive and need moisture and exfoliation as soon as possible.
Rough Cracked Heels Tips
If you have rough cracked heels without any pain, invest in a soft emery board to rub the heels while they are still dry. This should prepare the heels for better seeping of moisture when you soak. Do the rubbings gently until you see dust falling off your heels. After rubbing, soak your feet in warm water with salt for 10 minutes and slough the dead cells once more with a pumice stone.