Cracks in the feet, also known as fissures, grooves or indentations, are dry and scaly breaks in the skin that can appear between the toes or heels, being more frequent than you might imagine.
Sometimes they become painful and unsightly, especially when we wear footwear that reveals the toes or heel. If you want to know how to prevent and heal foot cracks , keep reading this FastlyHealarticle and discover what are the best treatments and home remedies to hydrate your feet.
Why do foot cracks appear – causes
These fissures in the feet can be the result of skin that is too dry (xerosis) or too wet . When the skin is dry, it becomes flaky and rough because it loses flexibility, often forming these small indentations at the base of the heel.
If your feet are always wet, either due to excess perspiration (hyperhidrosis) or shoes that let moisture through, the feet can become infected due to the presence of bacteria or fungi , which would cause the appearance of cracks in the feet between fingers mainly.
If the cracks are very deep and calluses have formed around them, these can become painful and even bleed, being more difficult to treat.
In women, the appearance of cracks has a tendency to become infected more than in men and in diabetic patients, these deep fissures can spread and form ulcers.
There are a wide variety of causes that can cause cracks in the feet , some of them can be:
- Live in dry climates.
- Wear open shoes.
- Walking barefoot constantly.
- Wear very tight and poorly ventilated shoes without socks. This keeps the foot moist due to perspiration thus promoting fungal infection, which generally appears between the toes, known as ringworm or athlete’s foot , which is more common in men.
- Obesity or carrying excess weight increases the normal pressure on the heel, which over time causes cracks.
- Conditions that predispose to dry skin, such as neuropathies in diabetics, sweat gland disorders, such as Sjögren’s disease , psoriasis, and other fungal or bacterial infections, which increase the likelihood of cracks between the toes .
- Age. Older adults are at higher risk for dry skin and are more prone to foot infections.
- Suffer an injury to the foot, causing cracks and infection.
Symptoms of cracked feet
Symptoms can vary depending on the cause, so the following may occur:
- Skin on the heel or between the toes with cracks or fissures.
- Chronic dryness and peeling in the affected area of the foot.
- Color changes in the foot, cracks cause a grayish appearance.
- Bad smell.
- Hardened and thicker skin with rough texture.
- Sometimes pain when walking or discomfort. If it is deep, the crack may bleed.
- When there is an associated infection, the area of the fissures becomes red and inflamed and feels hot to touch.
- If it’s a fungal infection like athlete’s foot, you will feel very itchy immediately after removing your shoes.
- In more severe cases, sores or blisters may appear.
Cracks in the feet: medical treatment
Treatment of foot cracks will depend on what is causing the problem. In most cases, the specialist will tell you:
- Lotions to moisturize the skin or cream for specific foot cracks.
- Antifungals or antibiotic ointments.
- If the fissures are very deep, they can reduce the thickness of the calluses and in the case of cracks that bleed or have turned into ulcers, the doctor will debride (remove) the area with dead skin and apply topical and oral treatment.
If you are diabetic or suffer from neuropathies, you should not treat the injuries yourself or self-medicate, as the risk of infection is higher.
Cracked feet: home remedies
Most foot cracks can disappear on their own within a few weeks if the skin is well hydrated with lotions or creams. Some tips that you can take into account to improve and remove cracks in the feet more quickly are:
- Apply moisturizing creams twice a day and cover with cotton socks.
- Soak your feet in warm water for 10 minutes and with a pumice stone you can rub the thick skin. If the cracks are deep, you are diabetic or suffer from any disease, you should consult a specialist first.
- Wear suitable shoes with orthopedic soles, that allow the skin to breathe, that are ergonomic and that protect the heel.
- Wear padded socks , preferably cotton, avoiding nylon ones.
- Dry the space between the toes very well after bathing. If you have hyperhidrosis problems, do not apply moisturizer immediately.
- Take care of your feet , keeping them clean and hydrated and avoid constantly walking barefoot
- Use baking soda as a home remedy. You can see how to use it in the article Baking soda for cracked feet .
In the following article, you can see more home remedies for cracked heels .
The sooner you take care of your feet and avoid cracks, the less likely you are to go to a podiatrist or a specialized doctor to treat cracks in the foot. Remember to check your feet daily, disinfect your shoes and always wear shoes with socks.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to How to heal cracks in the feet , we recommend that you enter our category of Skin, hair and nails .
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.