Ouch! Cracked, dry feet can be extremely painful, not to mention awful looking. According to Epodiatry.com, the cracks in your feet and heels are actually fissures that are caused by xerosis, a fancy term for dry skin. The fissures can become deep and bleed and are painful when you're standing on your feet. Treating heel cracks is difficult, because the skin on the heel is very thick. In a worst-case scenario, the cracks can become infected.
What Causes Cracking?
If you are predisposed to dry skin, you are likely to develop cracks on your feet. The way you walk and put your weight down on your feet can also contribute to this problem. Another factor that can cause cracking includes wearing open-back shoes. When you wear this type of shoe, it lets the fat under the heel slip sideways, and this creates pressure, which leads to cracking. If you are overweight, stand on your feet all day long on a hard surface or if your skin is not flexible and supple, all of these factors can lead to foot cracks. Epodiatry.com explains that there are also medical reasons that can cause the skin of the foot to crack, including hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid), which reduces the body's metabolic rate, making a person sweat less. When you don't sweat enough, this can lead to dry skin. Diabetics who have autonomic neuropathy, which also reduces sweating, are prime candidates for cracked foot skin. Psoriasis and eczema, which are skin conditions, can also lead to this problem.
Your podiatrist (foot doctor) may recommend debriding, which means removing the hard skin on the foot. If the cracks are extremely painful following debriding, your doctor make advise using straps to hold the cracks together while they heal. Sometimes podiatrists will recommend gluing the edges of the skin together so that the cracks can heal. A special tissue glue is used.
Moisturise the soles of your feet several times a day. Ask your doctor what is the best emollient or moisturiser to use. Also inquire about the proper footwear for cracked feet so that you don't continue to exacerbate the problem. Using insoles in your shoes might help the problem because they provide a cushion and may prevent thick skin from developing in the first place. You might consider using a heel cup in your shoe which will prevent the fat pad of your foot from expanding sideways.
Myblogonbeauty.blogspot.com offers several home treatments for treating cracked feet, including burning the outer skin of a ripe banana and applying the ashes to the cracks in your foot. Or you can crush an onion and apply it to the cracks on your feet followed by bandaging.
Additional Do-It-Yourself Treatments
Other home remedies touted by Myblogonbeauty.blogstop.com include putting 1 tbsp baking soda in hot water and then immersing your feet in the mixture. Use a pumice stone if necessary. Another technique uses three parts wax, one part coconut oil, one part ghee and 10 to 15 tablets of camphor oil. Mix all of the ingredients and heat in a double boiler. Let it cool and then apply the soft mass to your feet before going to bed.