Many of us tend to forget just how much we rely on our feet day in and day out, and we may not realize just how much attention goes into taking proper care of our feet. There are little things that you can do every day to make sure that your feet, heels, and toes are taken proper of care of. One of the best things you can do is simply to look at and examine your feet on a daily basis. Looking for any small changes or issues will alert you to when there is something that you should be concerned about.
What is a Podiatrist
One common thing that people may tend to notice is dry, cracked feet and heels. It is not uncommon to suffer from this issue, but despite what you may initially think, these symptoms are often not the result of a lack of moisturizing or the dry, cool air of winter months. Instead, cracked heels may be the sign of a zinc or omega 3 deficiency, callus growth, or overuse of your feet. Dry skin may also be a contributing factor, but is often of the chronic variety, which is also known as xerosis. In any case, dry, cracked feet and heels is something that is avoidable. Like many other foot ailments, like corns or calluses, cracked skin is avoidable and easily treatable if you know what to do and how to spot it early on.
Cracked heels tend to form when you neglect your foot health. Many people are guilty of this, and usually not out of intentional neglect. Many people may be unaware of how important their foot health is, what they can do to make sure that their feet are healthy and cared for, and what signs to look out for when it comes to foot ailments such as cracked heels.
When it comes to dry, cracked feet and heels, the characteristic cracks are not often the result of dry skin alone. If you are on your feet fairly often and do not wear shoes with the support that you need in order to do so, then the mass found at the heels of your feet may want to expand outward in order to cope with all of the weight that you are putting on them. In medical terms, these cracks are also known as heel fissures and are more akin to cuts or wounds than simply dry, cracked skin. These fissures can go deep into the dermis, or the layers of the skin, and become painful over time if they are not taken care of. In this instance, using a healing moisturizer may help some but will not treat the concern completely.
Cracked heels are not always painful, but they can easily become so if dry feet are not taken care of before the condition worsens. In order to care for your feet and prevent such extremities from occurring, it is best to know what to look out for. Some of the more common symptoms of dry, cracked feet include flaky, red patches of skin. This symptom is often the first. If you notice red patches of skin on your feet that tend to flake off or look like they might if agitated, you should seek treatment as soon as possible. Some other symptoms include itchy skin, skin that may excessively peel, or even bleeding and discharge from cracks if the condition has advanced significantly.
When it comes to treating dry, cracked feet and heels, you have some options. Some individuals may prefer to try home remedies before visiting a medical professional but it is always beneficial to visit a doctor for a diagnosis before undergoing treatment of any kind. Many of these at-home remedies can be found in compilation lists online and are composed of common household items. People suffering from cracked heels who wish to go with this method first may have some of the ingredients needed in their homes already and can choose a treatment method based on what items they have or which items appeal to them the most. Some of the more common ingredients used in cracked heel remedies include vegetable oil, bananas, glycerin, lemon juice, paraffin wax, exfoliates, and other common items.
Considering a diet rich in Calcium, Iron, Zinc and Omega-3 fats can also lessen your chances of developing cracked feet or heels as well. Combining vitamins and minerals rich with these substances can help curb deficiencies that may put you at risk for developing this foot ailment. Other generally healthy habits can help prevent this condition as well. Keeping your feet clean and dry, exercising regularly, drinking plenty of water, moisturizing and exfoliating feet when necessary or even simply soaking your feet on occasion in warm water or a foot soak solution can help prevent dry, cracked feet and heels. Overall, the best way to treat dry, cracked feet and heels is to take good care of your feet. Just as you would brush your teeth on a daily basis, it is important that you examine and care for your feet regularly as well.