Cracked Heels Begone
Ouch! These cracked heels are so painful. Cracked heels, also called “heel fissures” are the regular fine cut wounds that found on the heels. It is a fairly common foot issue for many people especially women. They are not only a nuisance but are unsightly and embarrassing too. And if the cracks are deep, they can be painful when you’re on your feet. Cracked heels may also bleed.
Cracked heels are generally caused by dry skin and are more difficult to treat if the skin around the outer part of the heel is thickened or callused. In severe cases, the cracks or fissures can become infected. According to the 2012 National Foot Health Assessment conducted for the Institute for Preventive Foot Health, 20 per cent of US adults ages 21 and older (about 44 million people) have experienced cracked skin on their feet. The problem is more severe among women who report the condition at a rate more than 50 per cent higher than males.
Nearer to home, thousands of Malaysian women also suffer from rough and cracked heels problems. The most common symptoms of rough and cracked heels include red or flaky patches, peeling and cracked skin, itchy skin and bleeding from the cracks.
What are Cracked Heels?
Heel fissures and cracks are generally caused by insufficient moisture to the skin. The dry skin on the heel of the feet can become inflexible and split when pressure from the bodyweight is put onto it. As the skin cracks, it may begin to bleed. These deep heel fissures can allow bacteria and viruses to enter the body, leading to infection and illness. In summary, three conditions are attributed to cracked heels and they are
a) dried out skin due to loss of moisture;
b) excessive prolonged pressure to the heel and
c) medical conditions such as diabetes etc.
Common causes of natural moisture loss from our feet include:
- Not moisturizing your feet regularly
- Dehydration, or not drinking enough water
- Using harsh, drying soaps on your feet
- Taking very hot baths or showers
- Soaking feet in hot bath for too long or too frequently
What worsens pressure to the heels?
- Prolonged walking or standing, especially on hard floors.
- Obesity or pregnancy, which increases the pressure on the normal fat pad under the heel, causing it to expand sideways. If your skin is not supple and flexible, the pressure can cause cracking or fissures.
- Lack of support around the heels from open- backed footwear, which allows the fat pads in the heel to expand sideways and increase pressure on the skin, causing it to crack.
- Some medical conditions such as neuropathy in diabetics which causes them to lose ability to perspire, which leads to skin dryness.
How to get rid of cracked heels?
There are many cracked heel products in the market which makes selecting the right product even more confusing. How then do we choose? What are we supposed to be looking for on the label? What kind of active ingredients should be in the product and most importantly, does it work?
Tips on choosing the right product for cracked heels
A good cracked heel product should firstly give you fast relief – one that helps eliminate calluses and provides fast relief for dry, cracked and rough thickened skin on the heel with visible results seen within 5 days of application. Ensure that it has been dermatologist tested.
This product should be able to tackle cracked heels with a 3-throng approach – exfoliate, softens and hydrates by forming a protective layer to substantially reduce the symptoms of dry, roughened, thickened and cracked skin. Look for a heel balm with lactic acids – which exfoliates to slough off dead surface cells for increased product penetration. This ensures that it delivers maximum hydration to nourish, heal and soften the skin. It shields the skin with a non-greasy, protective layer to prevent the loss of the skin’s natural sebum and oils.
Most importantly it should contain at least 25% urea, an ingredient that is fundamental to the maintenance and integrity of the outer layers of the skin. A naturally occurring humectants (a substance which promotes retention of moisture), urea has low toxicity and a low allergy factor. Last but not least, look for a product that is easy to use. This increases compliance and ultimately – faster results! Look for a dry foot & heel roll-a-balm product which is uniquely formulated in an easy-to-use roll-on system, no mess and no fuss application to repair dry and cracked skin.
DU’IT’s two heel balm products, DU’IT Foot & Heel Balm Plus and the New DU’IT DRY Foot & Heel Roll-On Heel Balm are high potency, intensive treatment complexes that are fast-acting, providing visible results within 5 days. These products are safe to use on diabetics. DU’IT Foot & Heel Balm Plus has been scientifically tested at the University of New South Wales, Australia and clinically proven at the Salford University in the United Kingdom (results indicated significant improvements in hydration levels and water retention with a major increase in hydration after four weeks of patient testing) has now reached our Malaysian shores. Look for it at Caring, Watsons and all leading pharmacies nationwide today and say goodbye to cracked, painful and unsightly heels.