Posts for tag: cracked heels
Many people live with extremely dry skin. Dry skin on the feet can lead to with cracked heels, also known as heel fissures. Heel cracks can be unsightly and embarrassing especially if you want to wear sandals or other shoes that expose your feet. Even worse, a tiny crack can cause a great deal of pain.
Circulation issues, including Raynaud’s Disease and problems caused by diabetes are the most common cause of heel cracks. Other factors include:
- Weather: as humidity goes down, heel cracks go up. This is why you’re more likely to get them in the winter than in the summer.
- Long hours standing at work or at home, especially on hard wooden or tiled floors.
- Obesity: the heel expands to support increased weight and this can cause the skin to split.
- Spending excessive amounts of time barefoot or in open shoes while indoors.
- Badly fitted shoes that don’t offer good support to the heel.
- Poor hygiene.
- Deficiency of vitamins and minerals.
- Hormonal imbalances.
Jeffrey Kahn, DPM offers the following tips to prevent heel cracks:
- Use a pumice stone to reduce and remove the buildup of calluses.
- Moisturize your heels twice daily.
- Use an exfoliating lotion weekly.
- Keep feet covered with socks and shoes.
- Keep yourself well hydrated inside and out. Drink plenty of water.
- Eat a balanced, healthy diet rich in essential fatty acids such as Omega 3 acids.
If the skin on your feet gets very dry and a small crack develops, help it heal with this simple, 4-step bedtime solution:
- Take a bath or shower, or soak your feet in a tub of warm water.
- Dry your feet well.
- Apply a thin layer of heavy cream or petroleum jelly.
- Put on a pair of cotton socks overnight.
Are you concerned about heel cracks or anything else about your foot health? Dr. Jeffrey Kahn and the staff at Connecticut Foot Care Centers, LLC are here to help. Click here to make a convenient appointment in our Rocky Hill, Bristol, Middletown, Glastonbury, Newington, or Kensington offices today. Our offices are equipped with state of the art equipment and our doctors have years of training and experience. They can remove calluses, heal those cracks, and get your feet feeling better right away.
If left untreated, cracked heels can lead to irritation in the feet, typically characterized as flakiness, redness, itching, and skin peeling. Cracked heels can be caused by ill-fitting shoes, dry skin, aging, an unhealthy diet, and long periods of standing, or constant pressure on the feet. Fortunately, there are many DIY methods you can use to treat your cracked heels. These include the use of oils, avocadoes and bananas, honey, oatmeal, lemons, and wax.
Cracked heels can become painful if left untreated. To learn more, consult with one of our podiatrists of Connecticut Foot Care Center, LLC. Our doctors will provide you with the foot- and ankle information you seek.
The Truth about Cracked Heels
Cracked heels are unappealing, and make it harder for you walk around in sandals. Not only may they look bad, but they can also tear stockings, socks, and wear out your shoes. There are several methods to help restore a cracked heel and prevent further damage.
How do you get them?
Dry skin is the number one culprit in creating cracked heels. Many athletes, walkers, joggers, and even swimmers suffer from cracked heels. Age and skin oil production play a role to getting cracked heels as well.
Over the counter medicines can help, especially for those that need instant relief, or who suffer from chronic dry feet.
Wear Socks – wearing socks with medicated creams, helps lock in moisture so it can stay on longer.
Moisturizers – applying it both day and night will help alleviate dryness which causes cracking.
Pumice Stones – these remove dead skin, and then you can massage cream onto your foot. This way the cream will be absorbed. The skin needs to be exfoliated; therefore the outer layer dead skin needs removal.
If you have any questions, please contact our offices located in Connecticut. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.
Perhaps even more than the summertime, wintertime is especially rough on our feet. Humidity drops and temperatures grow harsh, making our feet dry, cracked, achy, and prone to infection. Keeping your feet healthy and happy during the winter means less work getting them spring and summertime ready.
Step 1: Moisturize to prevent infection.
Taking warms baths and showers after spending time in the cold air can cause feet to become dry, which leads to cracking skin. Your skin is the first line of defense against infection, and just like cracks in the foundation of your house, cracks in your feet allow unwanted guests to infiltrate your body.
Stay away from moisturizers that are fragrance-filled or frilly, as they further dry your skin out. Look instead for lotion that contains water, glycerin, which keeps moisture in, and allantoin, which breaks down the rough barrier, allowing water to get into the skin. All of these ingredients help the skin heal itself. You will find the best moisturizers not in the beauty aisle, but in the health aisle or home improvement store. Men who are on their feet all day use O'Keefe's for Healthy Feet, which was designed to stimulate the skin's natural healing process by retaining moisture to hydrate the skin, altering pH levels, and increasing blood circulation.
Step 2: Protection from the elements
Going outside, even to quickly bring the garbage out to the curb, means exposure to bone-chilling winds, icy rain, and blowing snow. Brr! Choosing the right protective gear keeps feet healthy.
Invest in a good pair of boots that keep your feet warm. Fashionable boots don't mean they will keep your feet warm- they are more likely to cause you to slip on icy walkways and in parking lots. Boots should be waterproof to keep out rain and snow, and have a good sole with thick treads to help grip slippery surfaces. Wear your winter boots to work, and then change into work shoes. Consider wearing several pairs of socks to insulate feet and keep moisture away.
Step 3: Understand frostbite.
Skin exposed to extremely cold temperatures for prolonged periods can get frost bite. Even when wearing thick socks and boots, moisture present in skin cells and tissues freezes. Frost bite can happen quickly, especially when skin is directly exposed to the cold, and there are varying levels of severeness.
Frost bite symptoms include numbness, pins and needles sensations, hard, pale skin when cold and red, and painful or blistered skin after warmed. If you suspect you have frost bite, never put feet in hot water, always warm water between 104 to 107.6 degrees F to gradually warm skin. If the symptoms continue after soaking in warm water, call a podiatrist immediately.
If you believe have a foot problem and do not currently see a podiatrist, call one of our six locations to make an appointment.
Connecticut Foot Care Centers
Podiatrists in CT
Fall and winter is perhaps the best time to get your feet back in shape. During the spring and summer we put our feet through the ringer with flip-flops, sandals, and going barefoot. By the end of summer, our feet are callused, corned, cracked, and looking pretty ugly! Taking care of our feet through the winter will ensure we have beautiful and soft feet that are sandal
ready. Fortunately, there are many over the counter products that can help you get your feet back to gorgeous.
Got calluses or rough spots?
Regular use of a pumice stone or foot file on damp heels and calluses will keep your feet looking good in open-backed shoes. Soak your feet in water or a foot bath for 10 to 15 minutes to help soften up the skin. Then gently remove the thickened skin with a pumice stone. You may want to add black tea to the bath, as tea is a natural antibacterial agent that may reduce the chance of getting athlete's foot.
Moisturizing foot scrubs made from botanicals such as crushed fruit pits, sugar, or chemical exfoliates also help remove dead skin. After you scrub apply a rich foot lotion containing shea butter or cocoa butter. Look for balms or heel creams containing salicylic acid or urea to soften tough calluses.
Got cracked heels or feet?
If your heels become extremely dry and cracked, see a podiatrist for a prescription treatment, as these are more than just cracks, they are heel fissures. If they aren't that bad, there are plenty of moisturizing products for you to choose from. First, you should pick up some medicated heel pads to soften your calluses while you walk. After you've exfoliated the calluses (or followed the ideas above) use a heavy cream to moisturize tough skin on your heel. Look for creams containing petrolatum, an emollient, or a humectant such as lactic acid, which draws moisture into the skin.
Got a fungus?
This is something that cannot be effectivly treated at home with over the counter remedies. Fungus goes deep into the skin and those products only touch the very top layers. It's like just coloring the tips of your hair and leaving the rest of it uncolored- you want the whole head of hair colored, right? Well, you want to go down and kill the fungus from the roots of where it starts.
Whether it's athlete's foot or toenail fungus, we can treat your fungus with prescription products that will work. Remember- fungus will take a while to go away, so keep at the treatments prescribed. Many patients do a few weeks of the treatment and then give up.
Got a sunburn?
Remember to always put a sunscreen of at least SPF 15 or higher everywhere on your body, including your feet. Skin cancer does occur on our feet.
Got foot pain?
Try inserting an orthotic or insole in your shoes to relieve the pain. If the pain isn't corrected with over the counter insoles, call a podiatrist who may dispense an in-office orthotic or may fit you for a custom orthotic.
Got toenail problems?
Our toenails, like our fingernails, can be an expression of our personalities. But sometimes our toenails get away from us and start to look shabby. The leading cause of hangnails and ingrown toenails is improper nail cutting. You should always follow the curve of the nail when cutting your toenails, and for your cuticles, push them back, never cut them. If you're finding your toenails are becoming brittle, some nail polishes and polish removers will dry out our nails. Use a nail polish that is free of formaldehyde, toulene, and dibutyl phthalate. To moisturize your nail, put a cuticle cream, petroleum jelly, or vitamin E oil on the entire nail.
If you are experiencing a foot problem, call one of our six locations to make an appointment.
Connecticut Foot Care Centers
Podiatrists in CT
Dry, cracked feet are not only unsightly, but they can be painful as well. The causes of cracked feet range from obesity to dehydration. Even wearing shoes with open backs can lead to dry, cracked feet since there is no support for the fat pad at the bottom of the foot. Whether the cause is from one or a combination of these factors, you can help treat dry, cracked feet by giving them a foot soak, which helps promote circulation, adds moisture, and cleanses bacteria off the skin, preventing infection.
Use a pumice stone on your cracked heels while they are still dry. This will remove any excess dead skin so the water and salt can be more readily absorbed.
Fill a basin with warm water. Put enough to just cover your feet, and add 1/2 cup of Dead Sea or Epsom salt. Both types of salt help promote circulation to the feet, which will aid in healing.
Soak your feet for 10 minutes, then remove them one at a time and rub the cracked areas with the pumice stone for three minutes.
Put your feet back in the basin for another ten minutes. Upon removal, rub with the pumice stone once again.
Dry your feet thoroughly with a towel. Apply a moisturizer such as petroleum jelly, vegetable oil or olive oil to your feet. Massage the moisturizer into the cracked areas.
Put on a soft pair of thick cotton socks and leave on for at least an hour or overnight if possible.
If you have a cracked heels, call one of our six locations to make an appointment.