The skin of our feet is very dry because there are no oil glands on the feet. Therefore, it is essential to take care of the feet by cleaning them and keeping them moisturized. The lack of proper foot care leads to cracked feet or fissures. Though this problem can affect any person, but usually people with diabetes or aging people develop cracked feet. The foot- cracks may sometimes become very deep and lead to problems like bleeding and severe pain. In some people, the lack of zinc and omega-3 fatty acids may also cause foot- cracks.
Symptoms of cracked feet
The following are the symptoms of cracked feet which result from the improper care of feet and lack of moisturization of the feet.
- The development of rough skin on the feet around the heels is a symptom that one is going to develop cracked feet.
- The presence of red, flaky patches on the feet also indicate that foot cracks will soon emerge.
- The presence of cracks or fissures on the underside of the feet often leads to deep cracks in the feet. These cracks must not be taken lightly and should be treated immediately. The dry skin must not be pulled instead it should be removed with scissors.
- Itchiness and rashes on the feet and in the cracks is a sign of development of cracks in the feet.
- Bleeding from cracks when occurs must be stopped immediately else it increases the chances of infections and development of more cracks on the feet.
The various causes of cracked feet
Apart from lack of proper foot care, there are several other causes of foot cracks. Standing on hard floors for long times can cause foot cracks. Sometimes, a person is overweight and since the feet carry all the weight, cracks develop on the feet. Medical conditions like thyroid, diabetes, athlete's foot and eczema are main causes of foot cracks. Aging is another factor that can result in foot cracks. This is because as people age, they lose the natural oil from the skin rendering it dry and so cracks develop. Over exposure of feet to water is also a major cause of foot cracks. When feet are kept in water for very long, they lose their oil and are left dry and rough and thus cracks develop. Using non moisturizing soaps can also lead to the development of foot cracks.
Why is it essential to heal cracked feet?
It is essential that mild and moderate feet cracks be treated in time. If these mild cracks are not taken care of properly and in time, they may lead to several complications. The cracked feet can lead to problems like trouble in walking and standing for a long time. Cracked feet can even lead to increased itchiness and redness on the feet. The cracks if not taken care of properly, the cracks may deepen and even bleed leading to several infections of the feet.
How to heal foot cracks?
There are many foot repair creams that are available these days and can be used effectively to get rid of the problem of cracked feet. However, it is recommended to use natural remedies to heal the cracks on the feet. A few natural remedies that can be used effectively are:
- Scrubbing the feet with warm water and liquid soap helps to remove the dead skin cells from the feet. Before scrubbing, the feet must be soaked in water for at least 20 minutes and this regime must be practiced regularly so that the feet remain clean.Scrub packs can also be used to treat foot cracks.
- Coconut oil has anti- bacterial and anti- fungal properties and so massaging cracks on the feet helps to overcome the problem of cracked feet and also fights infections.
- Mentholated rub contains several essential oils that help to heal cracked feet. In addition, it also helps to get rid of toenail fungal infections.
- Paraffin wax acts as an emollient and helps to get rid of dead skin cells on the feet, provides moisture to dry feet and cures cracks on the feet.
- Epsom salt also helps to treat cracked feet as it promotes circulation and helps to retain the oils in the feet to keep them moisturized.
- Vinegar helps to exfoliate the dead skin and softens the skin of the feet to help treat cracked feet.