Causes of cracked heels

Update: October 2018

See also: Treatment of cracks on the heels

Cracked heels are a common problem with
pronounced seasonal nature and often troubling women. In connection with
high frequency of occurrence and a bright clinical picture for
abroad cracked heels isolated into an independent disease –
Cracked heels But inherently cracked skin of the foot –
indicator of body condition and hygiene.

Clinical manifestations of cracked heels

  • cracking on the skin of the foot of various depths
  • itching, burning, pain and discomfort when walking and at rest
  • sometimes – an unpleasant smell from the legs

Multiple causes of cracked heels often complicate
diagnosis, and patients receive only symptomatic treatment. AT
As a result, the manifestations that were quiet at the time make themselves felt with the new
force, the patient’s quality of life decreases sharply, the risk increases
infectious complications. For effective treatment it is important to eliminate
all causes of cracks on the heels of the causes, which in one patient
maybe a few.


Conditions that do not require treatment ATнешние усугубляющие факторы Pathological conditions
  • ATрожденные особенности кожи (сухость, чувствительность)
  • Wrong shoes
  • Hygiene violation
  • Excessive care – frequent peeling
  • exposure to the sun, wind and cold, temperature drops
  • chlorinated water
  • air pollution
  • dry air
  • work in hot workshops, in hazardous production
  • smoking and alcohol abuse
  • use of alkaline soap
  • household chemicals – after washing fabric sock, for example, absorbs
    массу химических соединений от стиральных  порошков и
    conditioners that adversely affect the skin
  • starvation, diet, small amounts of fluids, vitamins,
    nutrients entering the body
  • Obesity
  • Mycosis of the feet
  • Diabetes
  • Imbalance of the thyroid gland
  • Psoriasis
  • Dyshidrosis and exfoliative keratolysis
  • Avitaminosis on the background of diets, fasting, digestive disorders and
  • Helminthiasis (helminthic invasions in humans)
  • Diseases of the nervous system
  • Hormonal disorders or alterations (pregnancy, menopause and
  • Other diseases manifested by thinning of the skin, degradation
    nerve fibers and reduced immunity

Survey algorithm

  • The study of skin scraping fungal infection
  • Exclusion of endocrine pathologies – diabetes,
  • Determination of mass index and diagnosis of obesity
  • Exclusion of skin diseases – psoriasis, dishydrotic
    eczema, other pathologies

How the heel cracks look

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Conditions that do not require treatment

  • ATрожденные особенности кожи (сухость, чувствительность)

ATрожденная сухость кожи часто причиняет ее обладателю
inconvenience. It also causes cracks in the
the soles of the feet. The most effective way to deal with this
feature – regular use of moisturizers for
foot An essential component of these creams should be urea
and silicone. We must remember that with fungal infection, psoriasis and
other diseases, many components of creams can exacerbate
skin lesion. Therefore, before using them, you must obtain
consultation of the doctor.

  • Wrong shoes и нарушение гигиены

Wrong shoes – вторая по частоте причина трещин
on the heels. AT весенне-летний период набирают популярность босоножки,
flip-flops and shoes, heel open. AT результате кожа
foot is exposed to the mechanical action of soil, stones,
chemical agents are often injured. Microcracks with time
turn into infected lesions, causing severe pain.
Changing sandals on closed shoes and using socks
natural fabrics can solve the problem of cracked

  • Too active care

ATозникновению трещин на стопе может способствовать и чрезмерно
active care of the heels, if you make frequent peeling of the foot, then
between procedures, the skin simply does not have time to recover and yet
coarser, because the body is trying to catch up

AT случаях, когда все внешние причины повреждения кожи стоп
are excluded, and the problem remains, it is necessary to refer to the treating
doctor and determine the underlying disease.

Algorithm of action for deep cracks

With the development of cracks on the skin of the foot to render yourself first
assistance should hold the following activities that are already after 2
Weeks will give excellent results:

  • Buy at the pharmacy Clay BF 6 (60-80 rubles), do not be surprised, this
    approved by dermatologists and recommended for use with such
    pathology. Apply a few drops to clean, cracked skin.
    throughout its length, wait for the glue to dry. This is necessary in order
    so that the wound heals and does not deepen, in 5 days the crack will heal and
    glue will be removed along with the horny layer of skin.
  • Then within 7 days you do not need to do anything. Followed by
    to produce baths in warm water and slowly, not for 1 time, but
    gradually clean the foot from keratinized tissues.
  • Immediately after the bath, apply a cream with salicylic, milky,
    glycolic acid. You can use cream “Dawn”
    (veterinary), which includes floralisin, it is very
    effective remedy for cracks in the skin. ATечером и днем
    use moisturizers.
  • Improve the condition of the skin, including the skin of the feet, can
    ingestion on an empty stomach 1 tbsp. spoons of olive oil but
    It should be borne in mind that this method is not suitable for everyone, for example,
    contraindicated for persons with stones in the gall bladder (oil has
    choleretic action).

Pathological conditions


Obesity постепенно становится нормой в связи с неуклонным
increase in the number of obese people. Few patients have problems
on the feet with your overweight. Meanwhile, obesity affects
almost all tissues and systems of the body. Large body mass
is always a companion of hypertension and enhance
cholesterol levels. This triad disrupts blood circulation and innervation.
hands and feet, the skin on them becomes thinner, deep ones appear
cracks. Increased heel load exacerbates damage
foot Obesity can be diagnosed independently, and treatment
need to be carried out under the supervision of a specialist.

Diagnosis of obesity

  • Calculation of body mass index

BMI = mass (kg) / height in sq. (m2) BMI 18.5 – 24.9 – normal

  • Calculation example:

60kg / 1.7 * 1.7m = 21.76

25 – 29.9 предожирение (избыточная weight тела)
30 – 34.9 initial obesity
35 – 39.9 second (medium) degree
more than 40 the most severe degree of obesity

This formula will not be completely accurate for athletes, seniors
people, children and pregnant women.

AT 95 процентах случаев ожирение является алиментарным, возникшим
as a result of regular overeating. So, and get rid of
effects of obesity can be eliminated errors in the diet. And only in
five percent of cases require correction of hormonal levels.
It must be remembered that the cracks on the heels are not the only and not the most
dangerous complication of excess weight.

Consequences of obesity

  • type 2 diabetes or insulin resistance
  • coronary heart disease, hypertension
  • arthritis, arthrosis
  • hypoventilation syndrome
  • infertility
  • violation of trophic tissue, as a result – a decrease
    sensitivity, damage to the skin, frequent microbial

The main principle of the treatment of obesity and its consequences – a comprehensive
an approach. Changing lifestyles, keeping a food diary, and in
severe cases – drug and surgical methods will allow
Get rid of all the troubles, including on the skin of the feet.

Fungal lesions of the feet

Often the treatment of cracked heels with moisturizers does not
the desired result, and similar symptoms appear in other members
families. Most likely, in this case, the source of the problem is
yeast or mold fungus. In itself, a fungal infection
the feet cannot cause cracks in the heels, but they often leak
at the same time.

Read also on the topic:

  • Foot fungus: symptoms, causes, treatment
  • Antifungal preparations for the feet and nails
  • Toenail fungus: symptoms, treatment
  • Nail polish
  • List of all antifungal drugs in pills
  • Irunin from fungus
  • Symptoms of metabolic disorders
  • Blood Sugar Rate
  • Signs of Diabetes

Symptoms of mycosis of the feet:

  • primary lesion of interdigital folds
  • frequent involvement in the process of nail plates
  • skin roughness, horny layer thickening
  • sometimes an allergic reaction
  • itching of varying intensity

The disease usually begins with subtle flaking or
painless cracks in the interdigital spaces. Despite
the absence of a bright clinical picture, the patient is contagious for
surrounding people. After some time, the fungus captures a large
part of the foot, and the disease goes into one of its forms.

Forms of fungal infections of the feet:

  • Intertriginous – the most common form. Characteristic
    slight redness, peeling and cracking of the skin.
  • Dyshidrotic – formation of vesicles on the skin of the foot, erosion
    after opening them often become infected. Characteristic allergic
    rash and recurrent nature.
  • Squamous – the only sign – peeling of the skin.
  • Squamous-hyperkeratic – formed on the background of desquamation
    calluses, the skin of the foot acquires a purple shade.

The final diagnosis can only be made after microscopy
scales of affected skin. The fungus found there is identified and
Depending on the type of mycosis and its form prescribed treatment.

With isolated lesions of the skin of the foot apply local
antimycotics if nail damage joined –
additionally prescribed drugs of general effect. Besides
you must change your shoes or fall asleep the old antifungal


The problem of hitting the legs, and especially the feet, is acute.
just before patients with type 2 diabetes. The reason is
progressive neuropathy, the speed of which depends on the treatment
diseases. Completely stop the process of trophic disorders
impossible, but to control the level of glucose in the blood and carefully
treat the condition of the legs is quite real.

Principles of prevention “diabetic foot”:

  • Maintaining glucose close to normal. Exactly
    chronic hyperglycemia without due correction leads to
    damage to blood vessels and nerves. ATосстановить их функцию с помощью
    vascular drugs is impossible. Only the reception of well-chosen
    lowering medicines or insulin doses can significantly
    slow down the formation of neuro-and angiopathic legs.
  • Normalization of cholesterol levels (see how to reduce cholesterol without
    drugs). Cholesterol causes blockage of small vessels in the foot,
    breaking and so poor nutrition.
  • Wearing comfortable and sometimes orthopedic shoes.
  • Proper foot care:
    • all inflammations in the diabetic legs should be treated
      with the help of a specialist (even minor abrasions and cracks)
    • daily washing and drying of feet
    • control the temperature of the water when bathing. Foot sensitivity
      diabetes is impaired so the legs burn easily or
    • to give up smoking
    • regular lubrication with urea cream

The variety of manifestations of this complex disease includes
themselves including the defeat of the feet with the formation of cracks on them.
Causes псориаза до сих пор не определены, важную
role played by genetic predisposition, chronic
infections and imbalances in the immune system (see the causes of psoriasis).

Psoriasis может протекать в обычной и тяжелой формах. Psoriasis
The palms and soles are referred to as a light, isolated form. Sometimes
such symptoms occur with generalized lesions. Prone
to the defeat of the feet are people engaged in heavy physical labor. Have
reddish and white plaques form on their feet
lamellar peeling, often combined with the defeat of the nails.
The plaques can become infected, forming deep cracks and causing
pain. Treatment of psoriasis consists of a diet, the use of medicines.
(see psoriasis ointment), rehabilitation of foci of chronic inflammation (see
home treatment of psoriasis).

Other diseases with lesions of the skin of the foot

AT медицинской практике встречается огромное количество
pathologies in which cracks occur directly or indirectly
on the heels. ATсе они поддаются медикаментозному лечению или контролю.
Therefore, it is important to make a correct diagnosis and prescribe effective
drugs. If discomfort appears in the area of ​​the foot, cracks and
sole erosions that do not disappear after use
moisturizer, you must pass the examination.

Getting rid of painful cracks on the heels will allow you to gain
freedom of movement. And movement is life!

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