Winter is Coming Preventing and Healing Cracked Heels
Many people begin to have cracked heels as the air gets drier and the temperatures drop. This is due to the fact that the cold can cause the skin to become dry and brittle by removing its natural moisture. Though they can be uncomfortable and ugly, cracked heels can be prevented and healed in a number of ways.
Why Do Cracked Heels Occur?
Here are some of the reasons why cracked heels occur:
a. Cold, dry weather: The cold winter air can suck the moisture out of your skin, making it more likely to crack.
b. Hot showers and baths: Long, hot showers and baths can remove the skin's natural oils, making it dry and more prone to cracking.
c. Harsh soaps and detergents: Harsh soaps and detergents can also strip away the skin's natural oils.
d. Going barefoot: Barefoot walking can cause irritation to the skin and increase the likelihood of cracking, particularly on uneven terrain.
e. Nutritional deficiencies: A deficiency in certain vitamins, such as vitamin A or zinc, can also contribute to dry, cracked skin.
f. Underlying medical conditions: In some cases, cracked heels may be a symptom of an underlying medical condition, such as diabetes or eczema.
How to Prevent Cracked Heels
There are a number of things you can do to prevent cracked heels:
a. Moisturize regularly: Moisturize your heels regularly, especially after bathing or showering. Use a thick, heavy moisturizer that contains urea or lactic acid.
b. Limit baths and showers: Limit your baths and showers to 10 minutes or less. Use lukewarm water instead of hot water.
c. Use gentle soaps: Use gentle soaps that are fragrance-free and hypoallergenic.
d. Wear socks: Wear socks to bed to lock in moisture.
e. Protect your feet: Wear shoes that fit well and are made of breathable materials. Avoid wearing open-backed shoes or sandals in cold weather.
f. Eat a healthy diet: Eat a healthy diet that is rich in vitamins and minerals.
g. See a doctor: If you have cracked heels that are severe or do not improve with home treatment, see a doctor.
How to Heal Cracked Heels
There are several ways to treat cracked heels if you already have them:
a. Soak your feet: Soak your feet in warm water for 10-15 minutes.
b. Exfoliate: Exfoliate your heels with a pumice stone or foot scrub.
c. Moisturize: Moisturize your heels regularly. Use a thick, heavy moisturizer that contains urea or lactic acid.
d. Cover your feet: Cover your feet with a bandage or sock to keep the moisture in.
e. Apply petroleum jelly: Apply a thick layer of petroleum jelly to your heels before bed.
f. Wear socks: Wear socks to bed to lock in moisture.
g. Avoid picking at the cracks: Picking at the cracks will only make them worse.
h. See a doctor: If your cracked heels are severe or do not improve with home treatment, see a doctor.
Keeping your feet pleasant and healthy requires taking steps to prevent and treat cracked heels. All winter long, you may help maintain soft, smooth, and crack-free heels by using the advice in this article.