One of the most common physical syndromes which can plague adults and children, men and women alike is dry feet skin leading to cracked heels and fissures on the underside of the feet. Though more prevalent in women, it is often not considered to be a very serious physical condition, commonly causing discomfort. Often extreme discomfort due to the deepening of cracks might lead to tremendous affliction and pain.
Additionally, you should know taking proper care of your feet is necessary, just like the other parts of your body. And if you love to click feet pics in that case you need to be extra conscious in order to keep your feet healthy and beautiful.
General symptoms for dry feet skin and cracked heels
When areas of dry, thickened skin emerge on the feet, around the rim of the heels, called callouses, cracked heels are imminent. These callouses start cracking and fissures start appearing due to continuous walking when the fat pad underneath the feet expands.
Often cracked heels accompany several associated symptoms:
- Flakiness of skin
- Occasional bleeding
- Pain which may range from moderate to severe
- Reddening and inflammation of the skin
- Ulceration of foot skin.
Causes for the development of dry skin and cracked heels
The general factors that are the causative agents of dry skin on feet and heels with cracks can be enumerated below.
- Standing for long hours
- Walking around barefoot or in open-back sandals
- Shoes that do not fit properly or shoes which do not provide proper support to the heels
- Taking hot showers for extended hours dehydrates the skin
- Using harsh soaps, generally alkaline, strips the skin of natural oils
- Dry skin due to climatic conditions like cold temperatures and low humidity
- Feet without adequate moisture.
Apart from these physical conditions, there are certain medical causes that also give rise to cracked heels. These can be summarised below.
- High blood sugar and diabetes, which results in poor circulation of blood, especially in the feet are the general causes of dry skin in the feet
- Often nerve damage in the feet renders the inability to feel pain due to cracked heels
- Vitamin deficiency leads to cracked heels
- Fungal infection causes the underneath of the feet to get damaged and causes cracked heels
- Hypothyroidism leads to dry skin and cracked heels
- Atopic dermatitis and Juvenile Plantar dermatosis leads to cracked heels
- Psoriasis is a genetic dermatological condition that might affect the feet, causing cracked heels
- Palmoplantar Keratoderma is a dermatological condition characterized by the abnormal thickening of skin in the soles and the palms of hands and feet, giving rise to cracked heels
- Aging is a normal cause by which the tissues degenerate, causing cracked heels.
Treatment of Drying skin and cracked heels
Prevention of cracked heels includes wearing the right footwear and usage of custom-shoe inserts or orthotics, wearing clinically tested and good quality padded socks, having lots of fluids, and staying hydrated as well as moisturizing the feet daily.
But if cracked heels develop in any way, their treatment can be done in various forms which are demonstrated below.
- Foot serum – The Foot repair serums are generally podiatrist recommended formulation which helps in hydrating and revitalizing the dry and cracked skin of the heels to restore the soft and supple firmness of the skin without any irritations. These serums are composed of essential vitamins and minerals, are generally non-greasy and penetrate through the layers of skin to get absorbed into the innermost layers and provide an FDA-registered anti-bacterial and anti-fungal drug to start repairing the skin while protecting it against the intrusion of microbes.
- Foot scrubs – Foot scrubs are extremely beneficial for the feet. They help in exfoliating the skin of the feet effectively and soften as well as smoothen the dry and scaly skin of the feet arising from the callouses and which may later develop into cracks and fissures. The best foot scrubs can be listed as -the Reviving Pumice Stone Foot scrub, Lime and Coconut exfoliating foot scrub, Refreshing Jasmine foot scrub, and Tea Tree Oil Cooling and exfoliating foot scrub.
- Tea Tree Oil – It is a naturally obtained essential oil that can be used in amalgamation with other oils or hot water. The anti-inflammatory and healing properties of tea tree oil make it beneficial in soothing dry and itchy skin and clearing dead skin cells, exfoliating the skin, and healing it. A tea tree oil foot soak prepared with a few drops of tea tree oil can essentially heal cracked heels and soften the dry skin on feet.
- Dry skin and cracked heels often create obnoxious and objectionable odor due to the bleeding of the dry skin and other reasons. This is more pronounced in the dry season like winter when the foot loses its natural moisture content. The application of a good foot odor spray can keep away the odor from the feet and prevent the smell of socks and shoes.
Thus, these are the few easy-to-implement treatments and care regimes for dry skin on feet and cracked heels. But if it persists, consulting a dermatologist or a podiatrist is important.