Cracked heels are an extremely common foot problem that can occur in adults and children. The term ‘Cracked heels’ refers to the dry thickened skin around the rim of the heel, often accompanied by yellow or brown calluses. Though not a serious issue, it can often cause a decent amount of pain if left unattended. The cracks can become deeper and at some point, may become infected. It is therefore important to review the causes and treatment of this problem:
Causes of Cracked Heels
Some basic causes of cracked heels can be the following:
- Cold winter weather
- Taking very long hot baths or showers
- Using harsh, drying soaps on your feet
- Thyroid disease
- Excessive weight
- Vitamin deficiency
Remedies for Cracked Heels
- Heel balms or thick moisturizers
These are available over the counter in drugstores or online. They can be used to moisturize, soften and exfoliate dead skin. It’s recommended that balms be applied in both the morning and at night to increase elasticity. Keep in mind that severe cracks might require prescription strength balm or steroid cream to help reduce inflammation and relieve itching.
- Soak and exfoliate feet
Soaking feet in lukewarm water for about 20-25 minutes helps provide relief to cracked heels. A loofah, foot scrubber or pumice stone can be used to remove hard skin. Following this, feet should be patted dry. A deep moisturizer or heel balm should generously be applied to the affected area, followed by petroleum jelly and wearing socks to lock in moisture.
- Natural remedies
Natural remedies are an easy and convenient way to manage cracked heels. Honey and coconut oil are known to have antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. They help heal, cleanse and moisturize skin. In addition, vinegar, olive oil, shea butter, mashed bananas, paraffin wax, and oatmeal mixed with oil are recommended options for exfoliation.
If you discover you have cracked heels and if they are becoming deeper, inflicting discomfort and pain —remember that there is no need to suffer further when you can come see our team at Affiliated Foot and Ankle Specialists of Clifton. We offer comprehensive treatment for a wide range of common (and not-so-common) ailments.
For more information on injuries, or any other facet of foot care, call (973) 365-2208. While on the line, request your appointment at our office located in Clifton, NJ today!