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Don’t be embarrassed by dry, cracked heels

It has been a cold winter already so I recently decided to take a trip to Florida to soak up a bit of sun. Off came the winter boots and on went an old pair of sandals. I love the outdoors, – walking on the beach – but within a couple of weeks the skin on the back of my heels started to split. It was painful!

Was it the new temperature? Were they already beginning to crack from the cold weather at home? Do I just have really dry skin?

There were two things here – One, I had to quickly do something about the open split and figure out how it was happening. Well, three things, I had to get it to heal up as well. And make sure it did not happen again – I guess that’s four.

So, the first thing I did was to put some lotion on my foot. The lotion I used has honey and aloe vera amongst other things. The anti bacterial properties of these two ingredients and some others helped to prevent infection. The next thing I had to do was somehow close and protect the fissure or split. This is not easy on feet. Band-aids don’t work. They won’t stick to the skin on the heel. I’ve done some research on different kinds of glues and from this I know there are medical superglues that are used for suturing. There are certain types of cyanoacrylate* (*the technical term for super glue type glues) that are used for this. Well, I didn’t have one of those and had no idea where to get one but I did have some Miracle Glue which has similar properties. Now it is pretty runny so be careful not to try and put this on your foot when sitting on the sofa or over a carpet or kitchen floor. If you spill it, don’t expect to get it off. So, once the lotion has dried, apply some of the glue to the split an allow it to dry. Open to the air like this it will take a little while. I would not advise trying to wipe off any excess with your finger unless you don’t mind hobbling around for a few hours with your finger attached to your foot. Once it is dry you may want to wear shoes and socks for a day or so. Then each night before I go to bed I put some of the lotion on my whole heel to keep it moist, supple and allow healing.

Putting the lotion on each day like this helps soften the skin as there was quite a callus built up on the back of my heel and the pressure pushing on the back of my heel with lousy sandals was helping the skin to crack. You could also use a pumice stone or something similar to rub off some of the skin. Take it easy on this or you are going to create more problems.

The causes of cracks or fissures in the feet can be caused from: anything that is putting undue pressure on the heel – standing too long – particularly in ill fitting shoes or sandals; obesity; as well as some diet problems and other general skin conditions.

Is it an Ongoing Problem?

On top of the obvious immediate handlings I would advise seeing a nutritionist or doctor if this is an ongoing problem. A podiatrist or chiropractor may need to be consulted as well to see if posture or other foot problems are the cause. Eczema or psoriasis can also be contributing factors. Using a good cream or lotion and the Miracle Glue will help the symptoms in this case but one should definitely see a doctor or nutritionist to search out and handle the cause. The problem could be something as simple as a vitamin or mineral deficiency.

The same sort of problem can happen with hands – particularly the ends of the fingers. Often people working with chemicals or drying agents like mortar will have problems. Have a look at bricklayers’ hands sometime. The ends of his fingers often have cracks in the skin that are very slow to heal. I would suggest the same thing: make sure that the cracks are clean and dry and apply some of the lotion. When that is dry glue run a bead of glue along the fissure. I would not use just any type of glue for this – if you can find one that’s approved for skin all the better. And use honey lotion as the healing properties of honey can be quite dramatic.

So if you have cracked heels – follow these 5 tips:

  • Keep Your Feet Clean. When your skin cracks, it allows entry of contaminants into your body— leaving you vulnerable to infections
  • Soak & Exfoliate
  • Seal Deep Cracks with Liquid Bandage
  • Find the Right Moisturizer
  • Consider Natural Moisturizing

Doing the above, I have been back to wearing sandals with no other ill effects. And my feet will even be summer ready for the next season!


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