In summer the heels show dryness and cracks, as if "popping" because of the necessary habit of walking in flip flops, sandals or barefoot resulting in dehydration of the skin of the area.
For the most, this change in appearance is just an aesthetic problem, but for some it can be a painful situation, with deep cracks that reach deeper layers of the skin, that can bleed and become infected. For others it may be a sign of systemic or skin conditions.
"Like winter and closed shoes can cause fungus on the skin of the feet and toenails, due to the moisture created inside them, so in summer the open shoes cause dryness in the soles and heels. The skin gradually loses its elasticity and shows cracks, while its color darkens, taking on a yellowish tinge. The causes can be seemingly simple, however it is not always ", Dermatologist - Venereologist Dr. explains to us Christos Stamou.
Dehydration is one of them and the most common. Summer heat makes us more vulnerable if we do not get enough fluids. The dry environment, e.g. from the air condition, also contributes to the appearance of dryness on the skin of the heels, as well as the whole body.
There are many other factors that contribute to this skin condition.
As Dr. Stamou explains, while walking the heels support the entire body weight. There is a fat pad under the heel bone to absorb the vibrations.
When excessive pressure is exerted, without support, this fat recedes to the side.
To enable the body to respond, increases its protection by hardening at the points where it receives the highest pressure. The thickness of the dead skin essentially depends on the size of the pressure on the heel..
As hard skin is "built", dries and is no longer elastic, and as the pressure continues it begins to form cracks.
The closed shoes offer support, unlike the open, that the fat patch undergoes lateral retraction, increasing the risk of cracks.
This also explains why cracked heels are more common in women than in men.
People who are overweight are more prone, due to the increased pressure on the heels and the receding fat.
Standing on hard floors
Another factor that can increase the risk is standing on hard floors for extended periods.. This risk can be minimized by using shoes that are properly lined with heels and soles to provide extra support.. On the contrary, shoes with thin soles can aggravate the problem.
Diseases and cracked heels
In addition to dryness and excessive pressure, There are also diseases that often cause cracked heels.
THE atopic dermatitis is one of the most common. The condition can make the skin drier and the heels more sensitive to cracks.
'S has the same effect psoriasis, which causes dry, scaly and flaky skin on various parts of the body (including the sole) but also the palmate cornea, which causes thickening of the skin on the palms and soles and a predisposition for the formation of cracks.
Children suffering from juvenile plantar fasciitis cracked heels are also likely. This condition is characterized by high levels of moisture in the skin of the area, which dries quickly. This repetitive process leads to cracks.
Diabetes or thyroid disease
The painful, Cracked heels can be the first signs diabetes the thyroid disease.
An underlying diabetic condition can cause sweat gland dysfunction, as well as uncontrolled blood sugar levels. This can lead to peripheral neuropathy, a nerve damage to the feet that restricts blood flow and circulation and increases the risk of dryness and cracked heels. That's why diabetics need to be doubly careful, in order to avoid the formation of an ulcer on the heels.
This unsightly condition can also be due to thyroid dysfunction, which causes dryness and eventually cracks.
"Those who have cracked heels and even more those who have deep cracks and are at risk of infection should spend some time every day to treat this afflicted area of their feet.:
- they have to take a 10-minute foot bath every day,
- use pumice stone to remove dead cells and reduce the thickness of the stratum corneum
- then moisturize with fatty ointments. It is also good that they contain ingredients that help remove dead skin and restore its moisture..
For a complete treatment, the use of shoes with a thin sole that does not absorb vibrations and of course standing and walking barefoot should be avoided. ", concludes Dr. Christos Stamou.