With proper attention allotted to all the exposed areas of your skin it is easy to forget one essential and rather problematic area of your body: your heels.
Layered in socks and covered with protective boots it is easy to forget that your feet quite literally take you wherever you want to go. Along with your hands and face, they deserve a little extra Argan oil tender love and care this holiday season.
The good news is that cracked heels are easily treatable. You do not have to do anything routinely extraordinary to have healthy and moisturized feet. Medically, cracked heels are known as “heel fissures” and mostly affect the surface level of your epidermis.
However, untreated cracks can lead to linear cuts that burrow deep into your dermis (deep tissue) and then they can be very painful. With excessive pressure your feet may even start to expand sideways and, if these sorts of fissures are left to their own devices, they will most certainly start to bleed. Bloody cracks will leave your body open to a whole host of infections.
Does this sound unsightly? Are your feet starting to shyly tuck themselves underneath your desk? Have no fear- with a little bit of knowledge and one incredibly useful product, your feet will be jumping for joy by the end of the week.
First off, it is important to assess the general health of your feet. Most people don’t stare at their toes for extended periods of time so this might feel slightly awkward. However, although cracks in the skin can appear anywhere on the body, they most frequently appear on the rim of the heel and in the web of the toes.
This makes sense as your heel and toes are the most frequently used parts of your feet. Many people will gather a thick callus of skin around the rim of their heel. While this calloused skin can be protective, it is brittle and less resistant to cracking. Some other common skin irritations to look for include red or flaky patches, skin that peels off quickly or skin that is dry and itchy.
If you observe red or flaky skin, you are in luck. You have found vulnerable skin that is just starting to crack. It will be easy to treat with a topical cream or moisturizer. Argan oil is an excellent treatment option. It is full of the omega-acids and vitamins that will absorb directly into your skin.
This will soften your callouses and eliminate your cracks. For an extremely effective routine follow these steps:
1. At the end of your shower, thoroughly exfoliate your feet with a body scrub.
2. Pat your feet dry.
3. Rub several drops of Argan oil into your heels.
4. Cover your feet with clean socks.
For small cracks and simple skin irritations, you should see major signs of improvement with this easy routine. However, cracked skin can be an indication of other serious health problems. If you don’t see improvements after several weeks, it might be time to go to a podiatrist or consider some of the following questions:
1. How long do I stand on my feet during a 24-hour period? Are my shoes comfortable and do they fit well?
2. Am I overweight?
3. Am I washing my tub out regularly or are there other areas of the house that might be unhygienic or dirty?
4. Am I getting all the necessary vitamins and minerals into my diet?
5. Should I be checked for diabetes, thyroid problems, or eczema?
It may seem overwhelming and, most of the time, cracked heels are just a sign of normal wear and tear. But, the body is an amazing communicator and your skin tells a story all its own. Cracked heels could be a sign of an underlying health problem. If they are damaged beyond regular care, it might be in your best interest to get a second opinion.
Your feet always deserve special attention and, with a little bit of extra Argan oil love, your heels will only tell tales of health and love.
Photo Credits - (Header) CC: 'Heels' by The Next Web Photos - (Sidebar) CC: 'Relax' by Henry Bush
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