If you're a nursing assistant who experiences pain and inflammation in your feet after working long shifts, you can develop heel fissures over time. Heel fissures develop when the skin over heels becomes dry and cracked. The condition can be painful during and after work, especially if you wear the wrong footwear. Here's what heel fissures are and how you improve the condition of your feet after work.
What Are Heel Fissures?
Heel fissures first appear as dry flaky skin that eventually opens up or cracks. The problem usually affects your heels but can quickly spread throughout the soles of your feet without treatment. If the fissures deepen, they expose the delicate tissues beneath the skin to bacteria and infection.
A number of things cause heel fissures, including not drinking enough water to keep your skin hydrated and wearing backless clogs to work. Not having enough water in your body creates dryness in your skin. The dryness in your heels increases when you take long, hot showers and baths.
Backless nursing shoes can't support the sides and bottoms of your heels. Instead, your heels rub against the straps of your footwear or slap against the inner soles of your shoes. Both actions create friction and heat in the delicate skin over your heels.
If your feet sweat during your shifts, they lose valuable moisture as well. Over time, the moisture mixes with the bacteria in your footwear and becomes a fungal infection.
There are home care treatments you can try right now to ease painful cracked heels.
What Can You Use to Improve Your Cracked Heels?
You can use organic coconut oil to moisturize and improve the appearance of your heels. The oil also contains antiseptic properties that fight bacteria on your skin.
Here's what you do:
- Purchase one bottle or jar of solid organic coconut oil. Organic coconut oil doesn't contain additives, preservatives or sugars. These ingredients can burn, aggravate or make your dry heels feel worse.
- Place 1 teaspoon of oil in your hands, then rub them together to warm it up.
- Apply the oil to your heels, using a gentle circular motion.
- Massage your heels and feet with the coconut oil for 10 minutes, then place soft cotton socks on your feet. Cotton helps your feet retain their moisture.
Follow the tips above every night before bedtime and every morning before your shifts for the best results.
If the coconut oil doesn't make your dry, cracked heels look and feel better, contact a podiatrist, like those at Better Foot Care, for care.