Cracked heels: two words no person likes to utter. It is however a very common problem that can range in severity – from being purely cosmetic, to becoming a very painful problem. As if our hardworking feet don’t hurt enough, some of us have to contend with cracked heels as well.
But – ”Knowledge is power” – as Francis Bacon states.
What causes cracked heels?
When the sensitive skin on the bottom of your feet and heels become too dry, it can split, leaving painful cracks called fissures. These cracks may not only make it painful to walk, but can also lead to serious infections.
• One of the main causes of cracked heels is insufficient moisture or nourishment.
• Prolong standing is a huge factor. Standing, specifically on hard floors for long hours without sensible footwear can cause a lot of friction and pressure on your feet.
• According to epodiatry.com, open-heeled shoes cause your heels to expand, creating pressure and friction which can also cause cracking. Avoid thin soled and open heeled shoes, it’s important to focus on proper shoes that fit you well as well as foot type so they can breathe.
Risk factors that increase the chances of cracked heels
• Diabetes. Diabetics can experience cracked heels because of damage to the nerves in the feet from uncontrolled sugars that can cause dry skin.
• Obesity: Being overweight has carrying more weight on your heel pad to effect, which causes the skin to expand. The dry skin can’t handle the pressure and cracks.
• An Underactive Thyroid can also contribute to inactive sweat glands that cause very dry skin.
• On that note, anyone can suffer from cracked heels: lack of home care, poor nutrition and insufficient intake of water can also put you at risk.
How to treat cracked heels
Therapists can help you with an in-house foot peel. To avoid excessive foot filing, a chemical foot peel is recommended. It’s very safe and won’t get absorbed in the blood stream, which makes it a good form of treatment and prevention of cracked heels for pregnant women.
The foot peel contains keratolytic chemicals that soften the stratum corneum (Latin for ‘’horny layer’’) and dissolve the dead skin. It also contains alpha hydroxyl acids (AHA) that refines the texture of the foot, leaving it feeling smooth and revitalised, and contributes to reducing the signs of ageing and the overall look of the foot.
• Medipod. Developed by a podiatrist, this treatment is a two-minute spa in a tube. The cream eliminates bacteria and odours and creates a barrier against fungal infection. It also contains exfoliation minerals and strengthens the texture of your skin – keeping it moisturised.
• Environ ACE Body Oil. This is multi-functional oil with rich vitamins and antioxidants that fights free radicals that can be harmful to your skin. This oil relieves dry damaged skin, assisting in the condition and appearance of the skin.
• Environ Dermalac. This is a lightly fragranced lotion that softens rough areas on your skin. It helps by boosting the skin moisture levels and energises dull/tired skin. It improves skin tone and texture, assisting with skin renewal to promote healthy looking and beautiful skin.
‘’The human foot is a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art.’’ – Leonardo da Vinci
Contact Simply Skin Wellness Centre today to book your foot treatment!
Happy feet, happy life!
By Cheidene René Peters, Therapist at Simply Skin Wellness Centre