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Cracked heels are not only annoying but also embarrassing to have. On the other hand, these cracks hinder you from wearing the kind of shoes that you would love to. More often than not, people have the assumption that they are a result of carelessness to the feet. However, contrary to this belief, it is possible to have cracked heels even when you have been taking care of your feet. This is because the cracked feet may be caused by inadequate moisture to your feet or wearing the wrong footwear.
Additionally, underlying medical conditions such as thyroid disorders may cause cracked heels. If untreated, cracked heels may fuel complications such as cellulitis due to infections. Luckily, with the right tips, it is possible to avoid these cracks and maintain beautiful heels. Below are ways through which you can achieve this.
Keep Your Feet Always Clean and Moisturized
As mentioned above, cracked heel infections are mainly a result of the dryness of your heels. For this reason, after cleaning your feet, apply the right moisturizer. Rub your feet gently using a pumice stone. Be cautious not to overexert pressure with the pumice stone as this may worsen the cracks. While the feet are still damp, apply the moisturizer. However, watch out as you buy a moisturizer that you do not buy one that will cause more damage to your feet.
Where possible, consult your doctor, especially when the cracks keep recurring despite your efforts. Additionally, over applying the moisturizer could make matters worse, especially when the area between the toes is moist. Products with petroleum jelly make the best moisturizers. A home remedy you can try out is using ripe, mashed bananas as your moisturizer. Coat your heels in the moisturizer overnight while wearing comfortable socks for a couple of weeks till your heels soften.
Wear The Right Socks
Ideally, the material of your socks determines how healthy your feet will be. Therefore, avoid damp socks as they will worsen the cracks and also cause a fungal foot infection. Secondly, invest in socks made of natural materials like wool or cotton. These materials will ensure your feet are both bacteria and sweat-free, as opposed to those of synthetic materials. This is because cotton and woolen materials are more absorbent. After moisturizing, wear cotton or woolen socks to bed to ease the absorption of the moisturizer into the heels. A bonus is that wearing socks will prevent you from staining your bed sheets while also preventing feet odor. On the other hand, this softens your heels while allowing them to ‘breath.’
Invest in The Right Shoes
Walking barefoot may be liberating, but it exposes your feet to the risk of developing cracks. Wearing boots or shoes with a closed heel is a great way to prevent and heal cracked heels. Shoes with closed heels containing cushioning offer support to the sensitive areas. One should avoid open-heeled shoes as they do not offer enough support to the heels. Avoid sandals and flip-flops. These expose you to weather conditions that may dry out your feet. Also, shoes with thin soles make your feet vulnerable to cracks as they do not offer enough support to your heels. Therefore, this exerts a lot of pressure on your heels. To reduce friction, wear cotton socks. Heels with a long, slender heel may also cause damage to your heels as they force them to expand sideways. It is also advisable to avoid poorly fitting shoes as they will also have adverse effects on your feet.
Seek Medical Attention
Consulting a dermatologist or podiatrist is a necessity, especially when the cracks are severe, bleeding, painful, or when self-treatment fails. There are many recommendations that the doctor will use to help give a solution to the cracked heels, especially if the cracks keep recurring. It is more recommendable to use a podiatrist early enough because they are in a better position to offer the best treatment. Additionally, this prevents you from causing more damage to your cracked heels through methods that you may assume that is helpful to the feet. For instance, you could end up inflicting wounds to your feet in an attempt to resolve your feet problems.
The podiatrist may also seal the cracks by applying medical glue to the heels or prescribing stronger and more efficient softening agents. This way, it is possible to reduce the chances of having the cracks reappearing, which is more often than not the case when you are using other DIY methods to treat the heels. Additionally, the podiatrist may strap the heels with bandages or dressings. You may also receive recommendations on heel pads, shoe inserts, and heel cups to support your heels. Where the cracks are as a result of poor walking styles, the podiatrist may help you change your walking style and advise on ways of achieving this. Lastly, where there is an infection, the doctor will offer antibiotics.
Cracked heels are not only uncomfortable but could also get painful or infectious if left untreated. For this reason, it is your responsibility to avoid these cracked heels, thus keeping your feet beautiful. Above are some of the ways through which you can prevent cracked and dry heels.