Heel cracks are typical foot issues that can affect both adults and children. Many people do not take cracked heels seriously. Of course, having deep cracks in your feet can make walking around painful and uncomfortable, but can they be a sign of a serious medical issue?
Let’s dive into what can cause heel fissures and how to treat and prevent cracked heels.
Cracked heels, also known as heel fissures, develop when the skin on the sole of your heel gets dry and hard. Additionally, the skin could start to flake or crust over. Cracks or fissures may appear when the skin becomes very dry.
In addition to the fact that the skin of your heels seems dry and cracked, you may also encounter the symptoms below:
Heel fissures often go through multiple phases. One initial symptom is the development of calluses on the skin of the heel. Calluses form as the fat pads beneath your heels expand in response to wear and tear, which may be seen as tiny fissures as the callus begins to break down.
Other causes of cracked heels may be:
Deep cracks in your feet can make you more susceptible to infections, and diabetic foot ulcers are another risk if you have cracked heels.
The start of diabetes may be accompanied by a wide variety of symptoms, some of which include an increase in thirst, frequent urination, weight loss, impaired eyesight, and very dry skin.
Because diabetes can induce peripheral neuropathy, some patients may also have numbness in their feet. Nerve damage caused by diabetes can prevent sweat glands in the foot from producing sweat. If your sweat glands aren’t working properly, your feet may start to feel dry and cracked. So yes, cracked heels can be a sign of diabetes, but it’s important to note that there are other causes of heel fissures.
Given how common cracked heels are, there is a wide range of remedies available. If you have mild symptoms of cracked heels, you can use home remedies to treat them. But if the situation is worsening day by day, you should make an appointment with your doctor.
Simply applying a little moisturizer to your heels two to three times a day can take care of minor instances of cracked heels.
If you’re not in any pain, and the cracks have just begun showing up, then you may be able to treat cracked heels with a home remedy. Some more solutions you might try at home are described below.
A liquid skin protectant is another option for mending broken heels. Like a liquid bandage, this helps shield the cracks and lessens the discomfort of walking on them.
To prevent further cracking of the skin when walking or standing, you can try special orthotic shoe inserts, which are available with heel cups. Furthermore, there are many creams for cracked heels on the market that you can use to lessen the discomfort.
By adhering to a few simple steps that lower your risk of developing cracked heels, you may save yourself a lot of hassle and discomfort in the long run.
Dry, cracked heels can be more than just a nuisance. If they’re left untreated, they can lead to serious problems. Fortunately, there are things you can do to take care of your feet and heal cracked heels. Start by applying lotion to your feet two or three times a day. For an extra boost of moisture, apply a thicker cream or ointment that contains petroleum jelly or oil before bed and sleep with thin cotton socks on.
Some moisturizers also contain skin-softening ingredients like urea, salicylic acid, or alpha hydroxy acid, which can help remove dead skin if used regularly. If home treatment doesn’t work, talk to your doctor about other options.