It is a foot problem that affect most of the people at some stages of life . It can be painful sometime when the cracks are more deep and extensive. It has been observed that people have more psychological feeling than the other health related issues of cracked heels. People who standing for a long time and who are more overweight have high risk of developing cracked heels.
Why people gets cracked heels and the reasons
Obesity is one of the causes of cracked heels since it can put more pressure on the heels that make the heel to crack and split. Those who are overweight need to think about not only the heel problem but also other health risk that can be caused by the overweight. The systemic conditions which cause dry skin like diabetes and hypothyroidism can make the heel to crack. Diabetic patient have risk of developing foot ulcers if the cracked heel left untreated and the heel can be get infected which requires treatment with antibiotics. Another cause include prolonged standing and use of certain types of shoes. People whose jobs requires prolonged standing needs to be very careful to avoid get cracked heels.
Sign and symptoms
The sign starts with the development of dry,hard,thickened skin around the rim of the heel and is called callus. The area around the rim get yellow or dark brown discoloration. Initial small cracks are visible then left untreated this cracks become painful while standing and start to bleed.
Cracked Heels Treatment
The best way to prevent the cracked heel to apply heels with moisturizing creams on a regular basis to keep the skin supple and hydrated. Heel balms that contain decaling or keratolytic or water retains agents such as urea,salicylic acid,alpha hydroxy acids and saccharide isomerate can be used to prevent the formation of the cracked heels. Once the heel starts to crack it should be inspected and apply moisturising cream 2-3 times a day. A pumice stone can be rubbed against the callus to take away some of the thick hard skin before applying moisturizer.For severely cracked heels or if no improvement is seen after self treatment seeing a podiatrist would be more appropriate.
The treatment of severely cracked heels includes Debridement which includes cutting away hard thick skin by the specialist and this should not be attempted by using scissors or razor blade at home as there is a risk of removing too much of the skin and recurrence of infection is much higher. Strapping –using bandage or dressing around the heel to reduce the skin movement. Insole or heel pad is used to support the heel and relieves the pressure in the sole. Severe cracks needs to be treated with stronger prescription creams to soften the area . Cream containing urea or salicylic acid can be used to heal the condition