Dry skin on heel always has a tendency to crack. Continued pressure on heels aggravates the condition. Persons suffering from diabetes have to take an extra care about dry cracked heel. Micro organisms like fungus and bacteria tend to settle down in these cracks causing infection and wounds. The increased sugar level in blood creates a congenial atmosphere for bacterial growth, as bacteria need sugar for their growth. Hence treating a wound in diabetes becomes very difficult. For this reason diabetic patients have to give importance to take care of their feet and prevent the condition “dry cracked feet”.
According to principles of ayurveda the dryness of skin on heel or feet occur due to vitiation of vata or air element. The air element has to be normalized by applying therapeutic measures which supply warmth and suppleness to skin. Here are few tips to take care of dry heels in diabetes.
- Diabetes patients experience loss of sensation in feet. This is due to diabetic neuropathy. Hence a diabetic patient usually does not experience sensation of pain due to cracks or small wounds on feet. Therefore it becomes very essential to check your feet daily for cracks, fissures, bleeding spots and sores.
- Wash your feet with mild glycerin based soap (harsh soaps can increase dryness of skin) and luke warm water. Ayurveda physicians suggest using neem tulsi glycerin soap which has extracts of neem and tulsi. The herbs neem and tulsi have antimicrobial properties.
- Use pumice stone or emery board to remove dead dry skin. Never attempt to cut the dry skin on heel with sharp objects.
- Pat dry your feet with soft cotton cloth. Take care to dry between toes and press the cloth with little pressure over heel to absorb moisture present in cracks.
- Apply oil based moisturizing lotion all over feet except between toes. Sprinkle talcum powder between toes.
- Wear cotton socks and comfortable shoes which do not hurt your heel and feet. Always wear soft heeled slippers at home. Never walk bare foot even at home. Protect your heels and feet from extreme climatic conditions
- Avoid dry snacks, deep fried foods which increase vata or air element. Drink plenty of water which helps to increase moisture level of skin.
- Over weight increases heel cracks. Hence reduce weight with proper weight loss program.
- Do not stand for a long time. Continuous pressure on feet increases chances of appearance of cracks.
- Be regular with your medications. Good control of blood sugar is very essential to prevent infection of cracks on heels.