Cracked heels can occur for a number of reasons, from lacking enough moisture to wearing exposing footwear. If you’ve noticed symptoms such as dry skin thickening around your heels, or have cracked skin or heel pain, then knowing the causes can help you understand the condition, and could prevent further relapses.
A wide range of different causes
There are several potential causes of cracked heels. Take a look at your routine and if you can identify anything below that may be affecting you, then try altering your current habits. Here are the most common causes that can lead to cracked heels:
● Lack of Moisture - the most common cause of cracked heels. The skin underneath your feet is often dry, rough and chapped. This is because the skin around your heels has a low level of sweat glands. Fat normally supports the skin to become soft, and prevents it from becoming dry. If your skin is particularly dry then cracked skin appears more easily due to less elasticity, and can exacerbate any of the below.
● Deficiencies - Lack of vitamins, minerals and zinc in your diet can affect your heel health.
● Pressure – Spending a long time standing at work or home.
● Aging skin – Thick, dry, scaly skin loses its elasticity with age, and as such cracks could have higher incidence as you become older.
● Obesity – Heavy weight has the potential to increase the pressure on the fat pad under the heel. This can cause it to expand sideways and, if the skin lacks flexibility, put pressure on the feet. This leads to cracked heels.
● Exposing footwear - Openback sandals or shoes can allow fat under the heel to expand sideways and increases the possibility of cracks on your heels. Taking care of your feet regularly is important when wearing exposing footwear.
● Hygiene - Unhygienic circumstances or conditions can be a further cause.
● Water - Water can take away natural oils from the skin and can leave the skin rough and/or dry. Standing for prolonged periods in damp areas, such as a bathroom, can cause dry and cracked heels.
● Poorly-fitting shoes- standing for a long time or change in walking posture.
● Genetics- Naturally dry or thick dry skin (callus) around the heel could be a genetic cause of cracked heels.
Why cracked heels happen?
Cracked heels are caused when the skin around your heels splits apart. A mixture of dryness and pressure lead to cracked heels, as the skin becomes unable to keep up moisture levels and ultimately becomes fragile.
What can I do to help prevent cracked heels?
Boosting foot hygiene with moisturises and cleansers can help keep skin supple. Scholl Eulactol Heel Balm Gold is a clinically proven heel balm and can visibly boost cracked skin in three days. Try it and see if your cracked heels improve.
If you find that your symptoms persist, even after treatment, then speak to a GP or dermatologist to find out if there might be any other potential causes or underlying health problems. ALWAYS READ THE LABEL.
USE ONLY AS DIRECTED. IF SYMPTOMS PERSIST SEE YOUR HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL.