Are you dreading getting your feet out in sandals or going barefoot when swimming? With spring on its way and warmer days beckoning, it’s time to peel off your socks, get your feet out of those boots, shoes or trainers, and make sure you are ready to show them off. Lack of self-care can leave the skin on your feet dry and hard. This can lead to cracked heels, which don’t just look unsightly but are sore and painful too.
If you suffer from cracked heels and don’t have time to go to a podiatrist, keep reading to find out the best way to treat cracked heels with our simple callus treatments and foot care tips. Plus, find out what causes calluses and deep heel cracks, the symptoms to look out for and why looking after your feet is one of the most important parts of self-care!
THREE MAIN CAUSES OF DEEP CRACKS IN HEELS
Deep cracks in heels are also called heel fissures and they can happen for many reasons.
Here are the three most common.
1. Dry Skin
Since your feet don't have sebaceous glands, they can't produce the same natural oils as other parts of your body. These special glands are responsible for producing sebum, an important mixture of lipids that keeps your skin hydrated. With no sebum, moisture escapes more easily from the skin. This can cause dehydration. Over time, dry skin builds and becomes thick and hard, leading to cracks, especially in the heel area.
Footwear that is too tight or loose can cause blisters, which will eventually harden the skin. This is often the cause of heel cracks, as poor-fitting footwear results in friction and pressure in the heel area more than in other areas of the foot. When you spend long periods standing or walking, you are even more prone to problems from footwear that provides insufficient support or does not fit correctly.
3. Medical Conditions
Certain medical conditions — such as psoriasis, eczema, scleroderma and diabetes — can make the skin more prone to dryness, splitting and infections. Deep heel cracks are relatively common when these conditions are present, especially if you don’t have a foot care routine.
WHEN SHOULD I BE WORRIED ABOUT DEEP HEEL CRACKS?
Did you know that deep cracks in your heels might pose a serious health risk if left untreated? Heel fissures are deep cracks that cause an opening in the skin, which allows harmful bacteria or fungi to enter. From there, deep heel cracks can lead to infections, which can even be life-threatening.
If you have deep heel cracks, get treatment right away — don't wait until it affects how you walk or stand or you see signs of an infection.
The nine common symptoms of infection are:
- Heat and redness
- Pus or leakage of other fluids
- An unpleasant odour
- An elevated temperature or fever
- Chills and sweats
- Red streaks running away from the wound
- Fatigue and aching muscles.
An infection can rapidly turn into sepsis. This is a potentially life-threatening condition and can be hard to spot. If you notice any of the symptoms of sepsis, contact emergency services immediately.
The symptoms of sepsis include:
- Sudden confusion
- Slurred speech or not making sense
- Blue, pale or blotchy skin
- Blue lips or tongue
- A rash or redness that does not fade when you apply pressure
- Shortness of breath or rapid breathing.
CAN I TREAT A DEEP HEEL CRACK MYSELF?
It is possible to treat deep heel cracks, but if you have symptoms of an infection, you should speak to your doctor or a medical professional. When you have an infection, a doctor can clean and dress the area and prescribe antibiotics.
THE BEST WAY TO TREAT CRACKED HEELS IN THREE STEPS
- Gently file away dry and hard skin with a stainless steel foot file or pumice stone. Do not file areas that feel tender or look red and stop filing if the area starts to feel sore.
- Soak your feet for 10 minutes in warm water with apple vinegar or Epsom salts.
- Dry your feet completely and rub coconut oil or olive oil into your heel skin. Before bed, use an intensive cracked heel cream and put on some soft cotton socks.
Keeping your feet looking and feeling healthy can be a challenge, especially when you're short on time. Thankfully, LOVASKIN INSTANT FOOT PEEL is clinically proven to work and removes dry skin and calluses in under two minutes. But you don’t need to take our word for it — our customers rave about how well it works too!
Once you’ve treated your heel cracks, we recommend following these seven tips for happy feet:
- Drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated.
- Wear comfy socks made from breathable or sweat-absorbing materials.
- Try not to stand for long periods. If you need to stand, wear flat shoes with good support.
- Wear footwear that fits properly. Tight footwear will almost always cause problems, but even loose footwear can cause friction and blisters.
- Avoid too-hot showers, which can inflame and dry out the skin.
- Moisturise your feet regularly using cracked heel creams.
- Get restful sleep. Tiredness releases stress hormones, which can affect your skin health.
Taking time to treat and care for your feet is essential. Incorporating foot care into your self-care routine can help prevent heel cracks and potential infections. LOVASKIN INSTANT FOOT PEEL AND INTENSIVE MOISTURIZER can transform your feet so you feel confident showing them off. Don't let sore and painful feet become a regular feature of your life — show them some TLC!PODIATRISTS USE LOVASKIN FOOT CARE PRODUCTS, SO WHY WOULDN’T YOU? CHOOSE YOUR LOVASKIN FOOT PEEL KIT AND REDISCOVER HOW TO FEEL GREAT ABOUT YOUR FEET.