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Cracked Heels

COMMON CAUSES OF CRACKED HEELS

There are many reasons cracked heels can occur. Symptoms such as dry skin accumulating around your heels, or having cracked heels, toes or heel pain can cause discomfort. Knowing the causes can better help you understand the condition, and could prevent your foot health from becoming more serious. 

Different Causes

Cracked heels can form by several different causes. If you can identify anything below in your routine that may be affecting your foot health, then try altering your current routine. Find a list below of some of the most common causes that can allow cracked heels to form:

● Dryness or lack of moisture - The most common cause of cracked heels is often lack of moisture. Underneath your feet, the skin can be dry, rough or flaky; this is because of the sweat glands around your heels. Did you know, beneath the skin's surface there are fat deposits that prevent your feet from losing moisture? This can cause them to have a dry, rough and flaky surface, which also causes them to lose elasticity. 

● Deficiencies - Lack of vitamins and minerals can affect your heel health. 

● Accumulated Pressure - This is caused by spending prolonged periods on your feet standing at home or work.

● Mature and Aging skin - Over time skin loses its elasticity as we age, and as such cracks could have a higher incidence as you age. 

● Obesity - Being overweight or obese can put a lot of strain on the foot's padding underneath the heel. It causes the heel to flatten, creating extra cracks and dry crevasses around the heel or toes.

● Exposed Footwear - Open-back sandals or shoes can allow for your feet to be more exposed to weather and the elements. This can also increase the chance of cracks on your heels. Regularly taking care of your feet is essential when wearing exposing footwear.

● Hygiene - Unhygienic conditions can also cause your heels to become cracked or unhealthy.

● Water: Water can reduce natural oils from the skin; this can leave the skin rough and or dry. If you stand for prolonged periods in wet or damp areas, such as a bathroom, this can cause dry and cracked heels.

 ● Ill-Fitting: Change in walking posture or standing for a long amount of time in ill-fitting shoes can also contribute. Please refer to 'Choose the right shoes' blog for more information.

● Genetics: This is also a contributing factor to your own foot health. Naturally dry or calloused skin around the heel could be a genetic cause of cracked heels. 

How Do Cracked Heels form?  

Cracked heels, are also known as heel fissures and are a common foot condition. Depending on the severity, it can cause pain or discomfort. Pressure and dryness can lead to cracks and is often accompanied by thickened skin. Yellow or brown calluses can also build up around the heel, ball of your foot or toes. Unless they are deep and bleeding, usually the only problem with cracked heels is their appearance.

Prevent Cracked Heels

Boost foot hygiene with balms, moisturisers and or cleansers to help keep skin supple. Regularly using a FlipNFile in your shower and coupled with a good heel balm daily will greatly improve problem heels. Try it and see how your cracked heels can be improved. 

If your feet continue to cause you grief, we advise that you speak to a GP, podiatrist or dermatologist to find out if there more to it.

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