Cracked feet or fissures of the feet are a sign of lack of proper foot care. The skin on our feet is usually dry as there are no oil glands in the skin of the feet. Over exposure, lack of moisturizing and medical condition can cause dry feet and cracked feet. Though the problem of cracked feet can occur in any person, it is common among people having diabetes, athlete’s foot or who are aged. The fissures of the feet affect the epidermis sometimes the cracks move deep into dermis causing severe pain. Excessive pressure on the foot pad makes the feet to extend sideways. Since the skin of the feet is dry this extension causes the skin to crack. In some people deficiency of zinc and omega -3-fatty acid leads to cracked feet.
Symptoms Of Cracked Feet
The signs and symptoms of cracked heels indicate the external abuse of the feet or faulty internal activity.
- Rough skin on the feet- this is one of the first signs that indicate you are going to develop cracked feet. The callus skin around the heels will lead to cracks
- Red, flaky patches- red and flaky skin on the feet shows that your feet need more care. If you ignore the flaky skin the condition will worsen
- Cracks on the underside of the feet or fissures- this symptom follows the red, flaky skin. Cracks on the feet are a definite sign of cracked feet and immediate remedy is required to improve the condition of the skin. Do not pull out the pieces of dry skin. Clip away the dead skin using small scissors.
- Itchiness- The shrinking of the upper layers of the skin causes stretching of the skin below and this result in itching.
- Rash caused by itching- the itching if left untreated can lead to rash which may be painful. Get rid of the upper layers of the skin before you start any treatment for dry and cracked feet.
- Bleeding or discharge from the cracks- when the cracks affect the deeper layers of the skin bleeding or discharge from the cracks occurs. This increases the chances of infection of the cracked skin.
- Symptoms worsening during winter- The symptoms like dryness, itchiness and rash increases during cold climate.
Causes of Cracked Feet
The important causes that lead to cracked feet are
- Naturally dry skin – excessive feet activity cause the naturally dry skin to crack
- Standing for a long time– standing on hard floors for a long time cause cracked heels
- Being overweight– excess weight cause pressure on the feet and cause the feet to expand leading to cracked heels
- Medical conditions– diseases such as diabetes and thyroid problems and skin diseases such as psoriasis, eczema, and athlete’s foot cause cracked feet.
- Aging– aging cause the loss of natural oils from the skin resulting in dry skin which tends to crack
- Continuous exposure to water– keeping the feet in water for a long time while bathing or doing any other work standing in water or wet areas remove the natural oils from the skin of the feet. This will leave the skin dry and rough
- Low humidity levels– during cold weather the humidity will be less causing the drying up of the exposed skin. The heating systems also make the skin to dry up.
- Non-moisturizing soap– Non- moisturizing soaps when used will not replenish the moisture of the skin causing cracks or fissures of the skin.
Complications Associated With Cracked Feet
It is necessary for people suffering from mild or moderate cracked feet to be aware of the complications associated with the condition. If the mild or moderate cracked feet are not treated properly, there can lead to severe conditions of cracked feet. The symptoms which are mild at first can become difficult to manage if it is left untreated. Severe or deep cracks will be painful and there are additional complications such as
- Difficulty in walking
- Infections of the cracked feet
- You cannot spend more time on feet, which will affect your working ability
- Increased itchiness and burning sensation
- Require expensive treatment instead of cheaper home remedies to get rid of cracked feet
Preventing Cracked Feet
To prevent cracked feet, one should understand the cause of the problem. People with naturally dry skin should take some extra care to keep the feet moisturized using different methods.
- You can use any natural oil or creams to keep the skin moisturized
- Do not use products containing alcohol as they will further dry up the skin
- Use baby oil which are mild and which do not contain any skin irritants
- Apply moisturizers on the feet after bathing
- Use mild soaps while bathing
- Do not use excess hot water for bathing as this will remove the oils from the skin
- Drink plenty of water to keep the skin hydrated
- Avoid saunas and steam baths which will contribute to the dry foot condition
- Wear right fitting shoes which will allow your feet to breathe
- Avoid excessive sweating of the feet
- Avoid the use of alcohol and caffeine which will increase the itchy feeling in cracked feet
It is easy to control the cracked feet condition if proper preventive measures are taken or proper home remedies are taken at the right time to reduce the symptoms of cracked feet. If you feel that the itching and pain are severe and there is bleeding or discharge from the cracked areas of the feet then you can see a podiatrist who treat the skin conditions of the feet or you can go to an experienced dermatologist. You can visit the doctor only if the home remedies are not effective for your cracked foot condition.
Simple Home Remedies To Treat Cracked Feet Quickly
One of the most important things that you need to keep in mind is to use the right kind of footwear. Never wear footwear that is very tight as your feet will not get enough space to breathe and hence will result in cracked feet and heels. You also need to make a few minor changes to your present lifestyle and you must also include a few changes in your eating habits to get rid of cracked feet easily. The following are the few home remedies that you can try out to treat cracked feet effectively.
Special Foot Mask
If you have seen cracked heels and feet appearing under your feet, then you can cure it very easily by preparing an easy to make a foot mask that works wonders on your feet.
- All you need to do is to add raw stone salt, a few teaspoons of lemon juice, one or two teaspoons of glycerin and rose water into half a bucket of warm water.
- Now, dip your cleaned feet in this warm water for 15 minutes.
- You need to scrub off the loose skin from your feet using a pumice stone or a foot scrubber.
This will help you to easily get rid of dry skin. Another way is to prepare a thick paste of glycerin, rose water and lemon juice and applying this paste to the areas where you notice cracks on your feet. You can leave it there overnight and wash it off in the morning or you can also wash it off after half an hour. This will help in reducing cracked feet.
Ripe Banana Feet Pack
Another home remedy that answers your question how to heal cracked feet is to prepare a good fruit pack. You can mash ripe bananas and make it a smooth paste. You can apply this paste to the areas where you notice cracks under your feet and leave it there for about 15 to 20 minutes or overnight. You can then wash it off. You can do it on a regular basis to heal cracked feet easily.
If you notice moderate cracked feet symptoms in your feet, then you can get rid of the cracked feet by taking half a coconut, two ripe bananas and half an avocado and mixing them tighter to make a smooth paste. You can apply this on the cracked heels and feet. The natural oils, minerals and vitamins present in coconut and avocado will help in reducing the cracked feet. Regular use will help in totally eliminating cracked feet.
Regular Oil Massage
If you have a tendency to develop dry feet, then it is very important for you to regularly exfoliate your feet. But make sure that you do not use harmful cosmetic products on your feet and try to go for natural oils. If the cracks in your feet are bit deep, then you can think of massaging your feet with olive oil or almond oil regularly to reduce the cracked heels and feet. You can also use vegetable oil or coconut oil on the affected areas under the feet and massage softly so that your feet get the necessary blood circulation. You can leave this oil on your feet overnight and wash it off in the morning.
Natural Exfoliating Scrub
If you feel that the cracks under then heel does not go away with normal scrubbing of your feet, then you can prepare a natural exfoliating scrub to apply on the cracked areas. Add a few teaspoons of honey, apple cider vinegar to coarse rice flour powder and mix these ingredients well to make a coarse paste. Now, soak your feet in a bucket of warm water for 20 minutes and then apply this paste under your feet. Leave it on your feet overnight and then rinse it off first thing in the morning. This will help to reduce cracked feet and will also prevent it from cracking further.
Vaseline And Lemon Juice Mixture
You need to first thoroughly clean and wash your feet and then pat it dry. Now, soak your feet in lukewarm water for about 20 minutes to soften your skin. After again patting your feet dry, you need to apply a mixture of one teaspoon of Vaseline and two or three teaspoons of lemon juice over the cracked areas of your feet. Rub it evenly so that the mixture gets absorbed by your skin. You need to leave it overnight and wash it off the next day morning and you will see crack-free feet in a week’s time.
Honey has great moisturising and antibacterial properties. All you need to do is to mix one cup of pure honey in half a bucket of warm water and soak your feet in this mixture 15 to 20 minutes. Now, you can scrub your feet gently to get supple feet.
Mix a thick paste of one tablespoon of powdered oatmeal and jojoba or olive oil and make it a thick paste. Apply this mixture on the cracked areas under your foot and rinse it doff after half an hour. Applying this mixture regularly will help in removing cracks on your feet.
Massaging your cracked feet with sesame oil and also applying a generous amount of sesame oil before going to bed will help in effectively removing cracked heels and cracked areas under your feet. Use it every night to see effective results.
Rice Flour Paste
You can prepare a homemade natural scrub that would help in effectively treat cracked feet. This scrub is prepared by mixing coarse rice flour powder, honey and apple cider vinegar to make a thick paste. This paste will help in removing dead skins under your feet and hence will effectively treat cracked feet.
Apply virgin olive oil with the help of cotton balls on the affected areas of your feet. Massage the feet with this oil using the cotton balls in circular motion for fifteen minutes. The dryness on your feet’s skin will be removed after a few days. This will prevent your feet from cracking.
Mix paraffin wax that is melted and brought to room temperature with coconut or mustard oil and apply it all over your feet. Leave this mixture on your feet overnight and then rinse it off in the morning. This will help in reducing cracked feet effectively.
Vitamin E Diet
It is important for you to avoid junk foods and concentrate on Vitamin E rich diet when you suffer from cracked feet. Some of the foods rich in Vitamin e are: parsley, almonds, apricots, sunflower seeds, broccoli, avocado, papaya, turnip greens and taro.
Are you suffering from cracked heels and feet? Do you want to know easy tips on how to heal cracked feet naturally and effectively? Well, then you can go through the above mentioned home remedies and see which one works effectively on your cracked feet.