According to our Arlington VA podiatrist, cracked heels, or heel fissures, are a common problem for people of all ages, mostly caused by lack of moisture. Anyone can have cracked, dry heels, but seniors and diabetics are especially prone. The skin on our feet is naturally dry, unlike skin on the rest of the body.
The skin on our feet doesn’t have any oil glands, but relies instead on hundreds of thousands of sweat glands to keep our feet moisturized. Besides lack of moisture, there are other common factors that can lead to dry feet.
Common Causes Of Cracked Heels, According To Our Arlington VA Podiatrist
- Using harsh, non-moisturizing soap
- Excessively hot showers or baths
- Constant exposure to cold weather, water, or low humidity that dries the air
- Standing for long hours
- Medical or skin conditions, including eczema, athlete’s foot, diabetes, or thyroid conditions
- Aging, since we naturally lose moisture in our skin as we age
You probably know when you are experiencing cracked, dry skin, but how can you tell if it is a chronic issue? Read further to see what our podiatrist in Arlington has to say. If you have any of these symptoms, make an appointment with your Arlington VA podiatry office for relief.
Symptoms of cracked heels:
- Red or flaky patches
- Peeling skin
- Bleeding from cracks in the heels
- Problem worsens during winter months
Not only do cracked heels look unattractive, but they may also lead to infection or extreme pain. Your podiatrist in Arlington can help you with treatment, but there are some simple home remedies that may help.
Simple Cracked Heel Remedies From Our Arlington VA Podiatrist
Our Arlington VA podiatrist says that scrubbing hard, dead skin away helps a great deal in getting rid of cracked feet. Before scrubbing, soak your feet in warm soapy water to soften the skin.
- Before going to bed, mix some liquid soap in a foot tub filled with warm water.
- Soak your feet in this warm soapy water for about 20 minutes.
- Use a pumice stone to gently scrub off the loosened dead skin cells.
- Rinse off your feet with clean water and pat dry with a soft towel.
- Apply some foot cream or moisturizer and wear a pair of clean cotton socks overnight.
- Follow this remedy daily until your cracked feet are healed completely.
2. Mentholated Rub
In addition to healing some toenail fungus, mentholated rubs (such as Vicks), are a popular home remedy for cracked heels because of the many essential oils that they contain.
- Apply some mentholated rub on clean, dry feet before going to bed.
- Put on a pair of clean cotton socks and leave it on overnight.
- The next morning, remove your socks and wash your feet with warm water.
- Repeat daily for a few days until the rough skin peels off.
Lemon juice has a very mild natural acidic property that can help get rid of dead and dry skin cells from your feet.
- Soak your feet in water with some lemon juice for 10 minutes.
- Gently scrub feet with a soft foot brush.
- Wash and dry feet thoroughly.
- Apply moisturizer.
- Repeat 3 – 4 times a week.
Another method using lemon juice: add fresh lemon juice to petroleum jelly, and then apply to clean, dry feet once a day.
Talk To Your Podiatrist In Arlington VA
Talk with your Arlington podiatrist about home remedies like lemon juice or mentholated rub. Treatment for your dry heels may be as simple as treating an underlying medical condition such as thyroid disease or diabetes, but getting a diagnosis is the best path to treatment. Some questions you may want to ask your doctor:
- Which over-the-counter products would benefit me most?
- Are there any home remedies that may be more cost effective and just as beneficial? If so, which ones?
- I use a certain brand laundry detergent. Should I continue using this product?
- Are there any products your practice offers to help eliminate or manage dry feet?
- At what temperature should I set my home to keep a good amount of moisture in the air for each season?
You don’t have to suffer from dry, cracked heels! Our Arlington VA podiatrist can recommend many different treatments from the home remedies suggested above to prescription lotions.
The information provided in this article is not meant to be medical advice and is for educational purposes only. If you would like to learn more about this and other topics related to foot and ankle care, feel free to contact The Podiatry Center, with a convenient podiatry office location near Arlington VA, by clicking here or by calling 301.656.6055.