Anyone who has spent any time in Arizona knows how dry the environment is. The air sucks the moisture right out of your skin, whether it’s hot or cold. Dryness has a variety of effects on your body, but one uncomfortable side effect that many people forget—but shouldn’t—is how it impacts your heels. Rough, cracked heels are a common and unpleasant side effect of the dry air. Fortunately, there are ways you can heal and smooth over splits in your skin.
Skin splits when it hardens and loses its flexibility. The stiffened tissue isn’t able to accommodate pressure, so it cracks instead. Your heels are prone to thickened calluses as well, which dry out and split easily, creating both deep and shallow fissures. Heel fissure treatment involves eliminating the build-up of dead and damaged skin as well as re-moisturizing your feet. Wash them with a moisturizing soap. Afterward, gently scrub down the calluses with a pumice stone. Then your feet are ready for moisturizer.
Normal lotion may not be enough for dry, cracked heels. A thick ointment, baby oil, vegetable oil, or petroleum jelly are better options. Apply the oil or ointment liberally to the backs of both feet. Then put on clean socks to keep the moisturizer close to your skin and “lock” it in. Try this at different times throughout the day, but particularly before bed so the moisturizing agents can work all night.
Your nutrition can play a role in your skin health as well. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can contribute to dryness, making any problem worse. Make sure you’re consuming the appropriate amounts of vitamin E, zinc, iron, omega 3 fatty acids, and calcium. This means eating plenty of leafy, green vegetables, dairy products, nuts, fish, and seeds, among other things.
If you’re struggling with dried, cracked heels, know that you don’t have to. You can use heel fissure treatment to smooth over cracks—even in a dry climate. Let our Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists of Arizona team know if you need more information or help with damaged skin. You can make an appointment by calling, faxing, or using our website. To reach our Chandler location, call (480) 963-9000 and fax (480) 963-0375; to reach our Gilbert office, call (480) 981-1800 and fax (480) 981-0229.
Photo Credit: TiveryLucky via FreeDigitalPhotos.net