General information about Heels
Heel is in integral and important part of the foot. Nobody can deny the importance of heel as it helps in undertaking various physical activities. Imagine of running or walking with a injured heel. There are certain diseases/abnormalities associated with foot in general and heel in particular. Such abnormality may lead to temporary or permanent dysfunction of heel. Injuries or complications produced by other bone and joint related diseases such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can result in dysfunction of heel. Apart from these serious disorders there are certain abnormalities related to the heel which are less harmful. Cracked Heel is one of such less harmful disorder.
Definition and description of Cracked Heels
Abnormal thickening and fissuring of the heel skin is referred to as cracked heel in medical terminology. Cracked heels are considered as most common foot disorders. Generally, cracked heels are also termed as fissures. When these fissures (cracks on the heel) develop deep under the skin it leads to bleeding and produce severe pains.
Signs and Symptoms of Cracked Heels
As indicative from the nomenclature, development of cracks on the heel skin is main symptom of cracked heel. Following are some of the usual symptoms of cracked heels.
- Growth of hard skin, specifically on the outer heel edge
- The heel skin may turn yellow or may be dark in appearance
- Experiencing pain when walking
- Increase in pain when using shoes with open back and thin soles
- Appearance of flaky or red patches on the heel area
- Cracked and peeling skin
- Itching of skin in the heel area
Causes behind development of Cracked Heels
There are number of causes associated with development of cracked heels. Following are some of the common causes responsible for development of cracked heels.
- Inactiveness of sweat glands
- Dry skin
- Spending prolonged time on feet (standing for longer periods)
- Overweight (obesity)
- Wearing foot wear with thin sole and open back
- Surgical procedures, specifically performed for lowering extremities
- Improperly aligned metatarsal bones
- Heel spurs
- High arched or flat feet
- Using foot wear that does not fit properly
- Complications produced by other disorders such as psoriasis, diabetes, athlete’s foot and thyroid diseases.
Treatment of Cracked Heels
Treating cracked heels is not so easy. Fortunately, there are certain remedies available for treatment of cracked heels. If the skin surrounding the heel rim is considerably thicker, it makes the treatment more difficult.
The treatment depends upon the cause responsible for occurrence of cracked heels. It is important to treat the original disease, if the cracked heels are result of complications produced by other diseases.
Usually, following common methods are used for treating cracked heels.
- Use of moisturizing creams. Application of such creams makes the skin smooth and prevents thickening.
- Reducing thickness of the hard skin growth with the help of pumice stone
- Wearing properly fitting and shock absorbing shoes and avoiding use of foot wear with thin soles and open back.