Cracked heels are one of the most common beauty problems caused by drying of skin. The desire to wear attractive foot wear will remain just that with cracked heels. Cracked heels are also referred to as heel fissures. When these fissures are deep they may bleed and become painful. Some times they may also get infected.
Ayurveda classifies cracked heels under "kshudra rogas" (common diseases without much complecations) and explains the causes and remedies for cracked heels.
Cracks or fissures usually appear on outer edges of heels when the skin on these parts is dry and thick.
What causes cracked heels?
According to ayurveda the cracked heel is caused by vitiation of Vata. Due to vitiation of vata the skin becomes dry, rough and fissured.
Walking bare foot for long distances vitiates vata causing cracked heels.
Dry and cold weather increases vata in body and may cause cracks on the heels. The same weather conditions worsen the already present cracks or fissures on heels.
Usually the process of sweating keeps our skin moist and soft. Absence of or inactive sweat glands cause dryness of skin. Vitiated vata dries up sweat glands.
People who have dry skin tend to develop cracked heels easily.
Continued pressure on feet causes cracking of skin on heels. This may be due to prolonged standing or over weight.
Thin soled shoes, Open backed shoes, heel spurs, Surgery of lower extremities, flat feet, high arched feet and diseases like psoriasis, eczema etc also cause fissured heels.
Self care for cracked heels
Avoid thin soled shoes or footwear and open backed shoes.
Use pumice stone bars to remove thick, dead skin of heels.
Apply medicated herbal balm which keeps the skin of heels soft and closes fissures.
Liberal application of herbal moisturizing lotion keeps your feet soft and attractive.
The skin of feet lacks oil glands. Hence apply herbal moisturizing lotion before going to bed and put on cotton socks. This tip helps to maintain the softness of skin of heels.
Reduce body weight and do not stand for a long time.
Never cut hard edges of fissures with blade, scissors or razor.
Diabetic patients should immediately consult their physician if the fissures persist for a long time and show color changes. A regular foot bath and foot massage helps to keep the skin on heals healthy and soft.