Home Health Beware: Cracked feet could be a sign of underlying body illness

Beware: Cracked feet could be a sign of underlying body illness


Do you know of someone who has cracked feet? What comes to your mind or what do people say about such a person?

In the past, cracked feet were not a much bother to many. Today, the case is different. People with cracked feet are trying as much as possible to do away with them or hide with embarrassment.

The condition may be painful particularly at the early stages and bleeding can be experienced through the cracks.

So what exactly causes our feet to crack?

While cracked feet in most cases are not associated with any sickness, in some cases, it could be a sign of an underlying illness in the body.

Pressure and sugar – The nerves in the feet of diabetics get damaged by uncontrolled blood sugar which translates to dry skin.

Unfortunately, the desiccated skin cannot handle the exerted pressure while walking and thus cracking begins.

Unhygienic – Some people associate cracked feet with unsanitary.

Commonly, the foot has hard dry skin which requires constant cleaning and moisturizing. Failure to do so may result in a cracked foot.

Incorrect footwear – Wearing the wrong footwear could contribute to the condition. Sandals and other exposing or open shoes are known to cause parts of the foot like the heel to slip off balance which intensifies the risk of the cracked foot.

Aging – At old age, the skin may produce little or scarce hormones which could have helped in maintaining the skin elasticity.

Dry skin and huge skin, as a result of old age, becomes visible which later increases the risk of developing a cracked foot.

Sicknesses – Lifestyle diseases like obesity, a body with much weight, exerts more pressure on the normal fat pad under the heel causing it to expand sideways. If the skin is not flexible, the pressure can lead to cracking.

Doing the necessary

Proper care should be taken on the cracked feet to prevent bacterial infection through the cracks.

The Institute for Preventive Foot Health (IPFH) suggests wearing properly designed shoes or boots to help in preventing foot cracks.

Those with dry skin should as much as possible avoid open–heeled shoes and try applying moisturizing creams on their feet.

IPFH also states that a pumice stone can be used to reduce the thickness of the skin found on the foot, which in some cases leads to cracking.

No sharp objects

However, IPFH caution people with diabetes against using pumice stones, razors or scissors due to risks of infection and should instead seek medical assistance.

Finally ensure you keep your feet clean, moist and dry.

Gender occurrence

According to the 2012 National Foot Health Assessment conducted by the NPD group for the IPFH, the problem of cracking feet is more severe in women, at 50 percent higher, than men.

If you have cracked feet, be sure that some people will be creating jokes out of your woes while others will be sympathizing with you.

Take heart and hopefully, with all the possible remedies, your feet will be better than before.