Cracked heels, what a pain! Most of us have seen them either on someone else, or have suffered with pain from splitting skin on their heels during the hot dry season. I see them in my practice often, of course, why not. After all I am working on your feet, and your heels are included. As I mentioned, dry scaly skin can be caused by low humidity during cold season, or dry hot summers.
- fungal infection
- circulation problems
- poor fitting sandals
- sudden weight gain
- prolong standing on hard floors
I usually get more concerned with underlying medical causes in which cracked heels become a sign. I am talking about most common manifestation of dry, cracked heels in Thyroid, Diabetes, Kidney diseases, Lymphoma, Psoriasis & Eczema.
Often it can be caused by deficiency in vitamins, especially fat soluble Vitamin E and A, minerals, like zinc, calcium, iron and Omega -3 fatty acids. Proper food intake containing these essentials should be increased, or supplemented. In any painful persistent case of dry broken skin on the heels, I will refer you to trusted doctors of Podiatry here in Stamford - Dr. Bier, or Dr. Velasquez in Darien.
Now what else can we do at home to prevent dry scaly heels:
- persistent moisturizing using high quality oils, like coconut, neem or almond oil.
- shower with alternating hot/cold water to improve blood circulation
- warm foot bath with mint leaves, adding any of essential oils with anti-fungal properties: Frankinsence, Lavender, Oregano, Tea Tree.
- exfoliate the skin with loofa stone, not metal scrappers or chemicals used in most nail salons
- have Reflexology treatments, where qualified practitioner may bring your attention to any of underlying causes.
I prefer not to use commercial moisturizing products, as many have chemical preservatives and mineral oils, that get absorbed into the blood stream - they do not belong there. If you're interested to see how creams/lotions are graded based on chemical reactivity, check out this amazing site www.ewg.org