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5 reasons for cracked heels

Discover the foot foes responsible for those pesky cracked heels – 5 common causes you need to know!

Cracked heels

Cracked heels, medically known as heel fissures, are a common foot condition that can cause discomfort and pain.

They occur when the skin on the heels becomes dry, thickened, and loses its natural elasticity.

As a result, small, visible cracks or fissures form on the surface, making the heels prone to further damage and infection.

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Cracked heels can affect anyone, but they are more prevalent in individuals who expose their feet to certain risk factors.

This piece explores some of the primary causes of cracked heels, understanding the underlying factors that contribute to this bothersome condition and how to prevent and treat it effectively.

Long, hot showers may provide a blissful escape after a tiring day, offering a moment of relaxation and comfort.

However, while indulging in this soothing ritual, we might inadvertently be causing harm to our feet, particularly our heels.

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Prolonged exposure to hot water can have a detrimental effect on the skin's natural moisture balance, leading to the development of cracked heels.

The skin on our heels is naturally thicker and less elastic compared to other areas of the body.

As a result, it requires adequate moisture to remain supple and smooth.

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When we subject our feet to prolonged hot showers, the hot water can strip away the skin's natural oils, leaving it dehydrated and vulnerable to cracking.

Cracked heels can be a bothersome foot condition affecting people from various walks of life.

However, individuals with chronic health conditions, particularly diabetes, are particularly vulnerable to experiencing severe and persistent heel fissures.

Diabetes, a metabolic disorder characterized by high blood sugar levels, can have a profound impact on the health of the skin and feet, making individuals more susceptible to developing cracked heels and other related complications.

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One of the key factors contributing to cracked heels in diabetic individuals is the condition's effect on nerve function and blood circulation.

High blood sugar levels can damage nerves, leading to diabetic neuropathy.

As a result, individuals may lose sensation in their feet, making it difficult to detect minor injuries or pressure points that can lead to cracked heels.

Reduced blood circulation can also impair the skin's ability to heal, further exacerbating the problem.

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Walking around barefoot may offer a sense of freedom and connection to the earth, but it can have significant consequences for the health of your feet, particularly when it comes to cracked heels.

Going barefoot means your feet are exposed to various surfaces, each with its own set of risks and challenges.

Without the support and protection of proper footwear, your heels are more susceptible to developing cracks and experiencing discomfort.

One of the main reasons walking barefoot can contribute to cracked heels is the lack of cushioning and shock absorption.

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When you walk on hard surfaces without any footwear, the impact of each step places excessive pressure on your heels.

Over time, this repetitive pressure can lead to the thickening and drying of the skin on your heels, making them more prone to cracking.

Moreover, walking barefoot exposes your feet to various elements that can cause dryness and irritation.

Dust, dirt, and hot or cold surfaces can strip the natural moisture from your skin, leaving your heels dry and susceptible to cracking.

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Hard and unsupportive footwear, such as open-back sandals, shoes, and thongs, can significantly contribute to the development of cracked heels and other foot-related issues.

While these types of footwear may be stylish and convenient, they often lack the necessary features to properly support and protect your heels, leaving them vulnerable to dryness, pressure, and discomfort.

One of the main problems with hard and unsupportive footwear is the lack of cushioning and shock absorption.

When you wear shoes with thin or rigid soles, the impact of each step is not adequately absorbed, leading to excessive pressure on your heels.

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Over time, this can cause the skin on your heels to become thickened and calloused, making it more prone to cracking.

For individuals who spend extended periods on their feet, especially on hard surfaces like concrete or tile floors, the risk of developing cracked heels becomes more pronounced.

Prolonged standing exerts continuous pressure on the heels, leading to various foot-related issues, including dryness, calluses, and ultimately, painful cracks.

When you stand for long hours on hard floors, the pressure on your heels increases significantly.

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The lack of cushioning and shock absorption in hard surfaces means that your heels bear the brunt of your body weight with each step.

Over time, this constant pressure can cause the skin on your heels to thicken and become calloused, making it more susceptible to cracking.

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