Women health


Painful cracked heels remedy

Switching your thick boots for cute, breezy sandals is one of the most gratifying aspects of the winter-to-spring shift.

However, the truth is that wearing exposed, non-supportive shoes can harm your feet. Dry skin is unpleasant enough, but what about cracked heels? It's not enjoyable to spend the entire day dodging painful fissures, let's just say that.

The fact of the matter is that there is no need for elaborate treatments for cracked heels. In order to keep your feet in top condition, experts actually advise using inexpensive home remedies. What causes cracked heels? And how can you safely treat them? Experts explain here.

 What causes heels to crack?

The Institute for Preventive Foot Health states that, although dry skin is a major contributor to cracked heels, it is not the only offender:

  1. Protracted standing, especially on hard floors
  2. Open-backed footwear, such as sandals,
  3. Having calluses
  4. The pressure on the heels that comes with obesity
  5. Athlete's foot, psoriasis, or eczema in conditions

While some cracks are tiny, more serious ones can cause bleeding, discomfort, and pain, particularly if bacteria enter into the fissures. Therefore, it's critical to address the issue quickly before it worsens.

How to treat cracked, dry heels

Below are some easy techniques for soothing and relieving your cracked heels. In no time at all, you'll be feeling great and back on your feet.

Increase your water intake first.

Don't only tend to your feet when you have cracked heels; instead, grab a bottle of water, fill it up, and start sipping. Garrett Moore, DPM, DABPM, a podiatrist at UCHealth Stapleton Foot & Ankle Center, advises, "Make sure you're drinking enough water." Keep yourself hydrated to prevent or treat dry, cracked skin, according to the expert. "Your skin can lose about a liter of water during the day—more in dry areas," he says.

Grab a quality water bottle that measures your consumption and glows as a reminder to keep drinking if you have trouble getting your fix during the day. Do you prefer to keep your drinks cold? You can depend on these insulated water bottles.

Apply moisturizer regularly.

The solution is the same whether you're attempting to heal or prevent cracked heels: continue to moisturize. "Apply a quality moisturizer at least once daily, if not more. There are many different moisturizers and barrier creams available, and there are several reasons to use particular kinds, but one of the major issues I have with patients is a lack of consistency, according to Dr. Moore. Daily moisturizing of the foot is required; do it in the morning and at bedtime.

Keeping fluids in your skin, reducing loss, and even drawing in more from the damaged tissue (or even the environment!) will all be aided by doing this. CeraVe, Lubriderm, and Aveeno all receive excellent praise from me as over-the-counter products.

It's also crucial to be consistent with the things you use. Selecting a cream or lotion and using it consistently will help prevent cracked heels.

Test petroleum jelly.

According to Caroling Chang, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at Rhode Island Hospital and a part of the Prevention Medical Review Board, occlusive products like petroleum jelly, which is frequently listed as petrolatum on the ingredients label, stay on the skin and create a barrier to stop moisture loss if you need heavy-duty hydration.

Apply a small layer of a petroleum jelly-based product, such as Vaseline, over the top of your lotion or cream to seal moisture into your cracked foot. Or choose a cream like CeraVe Healing Ointment that already has the component.

Use powerful healing cream if needed.

When your cracked heels are severe, conventional lotions occasionally won't work, so you'll need to pull out the heavy guns. Consult your doctor if the regular, appropriate application of top-notch over-the-counter medicines isn't enough to prevent fissures. According to Dr. Moore, a fungus may occasionally make things worse. "If it's really simply dry skin, we can prescribe emollients to get your skin healthy, such ammonium lactate or urea cream, then transition you to a lotion to maintain that health," the doctor said.

There are alternatives containing urea that you can get over the counter at the drugstore, however, they might not be nearly as potent. Board-certified dermatologist Roberta Del Campo, MD, of Miami, suggests Excipial 20% Urea Intensive Healing Cream, which works well but can be more expensive than what you could obtain from your doctor. "Urea is a keratolytic agent, which means it helps remove dead skin cells chemically, leaving your feet soft and smooth. Not only is it excellent for calloused feet, but it may also be used to soften hard knees and elbows, according to the woman.

Buy hydrating socks

A pair of socks designed specifically for dry, cracked heels can provide additional moisturizing advantages if you wish to protect your heels in addition to wearing your regular daily socks.

This NatraCure option features a liner that deeply moisturizes your skin with aloe vera, vitamin E, and shea butter. Just be aware that since these aren't your typical socks, they won't feel very comfortable or soft. Instead, at first, they'll feel a little rubbery, but the heat from your skin will trigger the release of healing agents. The reward? Not just your heels but the entire foot will experience the softening effects.

Use foot soaks.

Following the healing of the fissures, Dr. Engelman advises soaking your feet before exfoliating calluses. There are several store-bought versions available, such as this one from Purely Northwest that includes antibacterial tea tree oil, but you may also utilize supplies you already have at home, such as milk and honey.

This makes the skin softer so you don't have to clean it vigorously. You don't want to over-exfoliate, so slow down if it begins to feel sensitive.

Use a pumice stone for exfoliation.

The finest tool to use for exfoliating after soaking your feet is a pumice stone. It keeps calluses and dry patches at bay. Even though calluses can be protective, if they become very thick, they can lose all elasticity and break when you move, according to Dr. Engelman.

Ensure that everything is kept tidy. "If you use a pumice stone occasionally—once every few weeks—soak the stone in liquid cleaner or bleach before giving it a good rinse. The nooks and crannies that make it such a natural skin file can accumulate dead skin and serve as a haven for bacteria, according to Dr. Engelman.

Avoid shaving or peeling your calluses.

It can be very difficult to resist picking at cracked or peeling heels, yet doing so is detrimental to the health of your feet. Never try to shave a callus yourself or manually remove dead skin. This is what I refer to as "doing bathroom surgery," and it's a surefire way to get a serious infection.

Actually, the only person who should be tinkering with your foot problems is your doctor, as they are the experts and won't make matters worse. "I'm working in a spotless setting with sanitary tools. I can also remove only what is essential without causing unnecessary issues because I can view your feet at a much clearer angle, he adds.

Put on closed-back shoes.

Since open-backed shoes and sandals can worsen or cause cracked heels,

Make sure you have a go-to pair of closed shoes you can wear when you're having trouble, even if it's only a pair of sneakers. Protect the region by donning closed-back shoes and socks.



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