Are Cracked Heels Linked To Diabetes? Increased thirst, increased urination, decreased appetite, blurred eyesight, and extremely dry skin are just few of the symptoms that may accompany diabetes’ development. Blisters, lesions, and cuts take a particularly long time to heal when you have diabetes because the disease limits blood flow and prevents your feet from receiving enough nutrients and oxygen.
Peripheral neuropathy can cause tingling or numbness in the feet in some patients with diabetes. Cracked heels are often interpreted as a symptom of diabetes because of the effects of the disease on the feet and the fact that it promotes dry skin. Are they, though?
What Are Cracked heels?
In the United States, many individuals experience the discomfort of having their heels crack. Heel fissures form when the thin skin on the soles of the feet and heels dries out and splits. While most people won’t experience any negative health effects from these fissures, some may find it difficult to walk and even contract infections due to them.
It’s not uncommon for the fissures to penetrate deeper into the skin and cause bleeding. In certain cases, it’s tough to get the two sides of the crack to knit back together, which greatly raises the risk of a life-threatening blood infection.
Cracked Heels Might Cause Serious Problems
There are usually just minor, cosmetic consequences from heel fissures. In contrast, larger cracks can lead to a variety of other issues, such as:
- Worry Infection Probability (cellulitis)
- Those with diabetes are more likely to need a limb amputated (in case of an infection that is not properly cared for or treated)
- Infected fissures may swell, turn red, and drain pus.
How Does Diabetes Lead To Dry, Cracking Feet?
Heel fissures are a common symptom of diabetes, but there are other causes of cracked heels as well. Diabetes can impair sweat gland function by damaging neurons in the foot. When the sweat glands aren’t working properly, the skin of the feet dries out because it doesn’t get any moisture.
Fissures in the heels are a leading cause of serious heel ulcers and open sores. Such cracks are especially dangerous for diabetics because of how quickly an infection may spread through the body. This might have serious problems, including even amputation.
It is important to remember that having cracked heels is not a sign of diabetes. Yet, because diabetes impairs sweat gland activity, the risk of having cracked heels is increased.
What To Do About Dry, Cracked Heels?
Due to the prevalence of cracked heels, there are several remedies accessible, from at-home care to medical attention if necessary.
A simple application of moisturiser to the affected area twice or thrice daily will take care of mild cases of cracked heels. If you’re not in any pain and the cracks are just starting to show, then you can try a home remedy. Examples of further home treatments are:
- Applying an emollient or humectant moisturiser – emollients help the skin retain moisture by acting as a barrier. They work deep into the skin, filling in dry patches and making the skin feel smooth, supple, and pliable. Humectants are substances that maintain moisture by attracting water from the air. The skin’s ability to retain water can also be improved with their aid.
- Wearing socks to bed is beneficial for persons with diabetes, and not just for preventing dry, cracked feet. Before putting on socks, rub some petroleum jelly into the skin of the heels to keep it supple and hydrated. For the skin to soften, you’ll need to keep doing this for a few days.
- To get rid of some of the thick, dead skin, massage it with a pumice stone. Hard skin and calluses can be softened by its application.
Prescribed Medical Treatments
If the fissures are causing you pain when standing or putting pressure on your heels after using over-the-counter medications, you should consult a doctor, particularly if you also have diabetes. Typical medical recommendations include:
- Fastening at the back of the heel
- Medicines prescribed by doctors for treating infections and pain
- Adherent to the skin
- Orthotic shoe inserts
Read more about How Long Does Wisdom Tooth Growing Pain Last?
Protect Your Feet From Developing Broken Heels?
Easy preventative measures will spare you from a lot of hassle and discomfort if you’re prone to getting cracked heels:
- Don’t wear sandals or other open shoes if you don’t want your feet to dry out.
- Open shoes with poor heel support should be avoided.
- Shoes with a narrow heel, which might cause your heel to protrude laterally, should be avoided.
- Don’t wear shoes that are excessively constricting.
- Try not to cross your legs while standing or sitting for extended periods of time.
- Use a heavy duty foot cream before bed and slip on a pair of cotton socks.
- Every day, you should examine your feet.
- Put in tailored shoe inserts to alleviate pressure on your heel and feet.
- If you want to maintain your body’s water balance, drink lots of water.
- Put on some silicone heel cups to keep your heel pad moist and stop it from growing.
If I’m Having Foot Problems, When Should I See A Podiatrist?
In most cases, a broken heel can be treated effectively with over-the-counter medications and home care. In contrast, a podiatrist visit is warranted when the fissures grow dry, cracked, bleed, and cause pain when walking. Diabetics risk losing a limb if an infection spreads because of untreated deep cracks.
Possible Associated Symptoms With Dry, Cracked Heels
Despite the obvious appearance of cracked heels, other signs of infection include itching, varied degrees of pain, ulcerations, flaky skin, inflammation, heat, and redness. You need to see a doctor on urgent basis if you feel these signs.
Anyone can get cracked heels, but people with diabetes should pay extra attention to this condition. If you have diabetes and cracked heels, it is crucial that you pay special attention to your feet, inspect them periodically, and try some of the home remedies recommended here. See a doctor quickly if you’re experiencing pain or think you might have an infection.