Cracked Heels & Nutritional Deficiency

How-To-Cure-Cracked-Heels-The-Natural-WayCracked heels or heel fissures refer to the buildup of thick, dry skin on the heel of the foot and the consequential cracking of the skin. The fissures can be mild–consisting of dry, cracked skin on just the outer layers of the epidermis–or severe, affecting the internal layers of the dermis. Damage to the dermis layer can cause pain, discomfort and bleeding. An inadequate consumption of key vitamins and minerals can increase the risk and severity of cracked heels.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is generally associated with healthy vision, but it also plays an important role in maintaining and rejuvenating skin tissue. Vitamin A promotes cell division and growth, including the sloughing of skin cells that leads to smooth healthy skin. Carrots, milk, eggs, green vegetables and orange fruits are all good sources of vitamin A. The Institute of Medicine’s (IOM’s) Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamin A is 700mcg and 900mcg for adult women and men, respectively.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E works to protect skin cells from harmful free radicals produced by the body and other environmental sources, such as the sun. As an antioxidant, vitamin E keeps skin cells healthy and smooth. It can be found in foods such as green vegetables, nuts, fortified cereals and whole-grain products. The RDA for vitamin E is 15mg daily.

Vitamin C

Like vitamin E, vitamin C protects the skin from free radicals. Free radicals destroy the skin’s structural support of collagen and elastin fibers and cause wrinkles or cracks in the skin. Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits and green-leafy vegetables. According to the IOM, only 75mg to 90mg of the vitamin is needed by the adult body daily. However, most adults consume much larger amounts of this vitamin.

Zinc

Zinc provides enzymes that benefit skin cells in multiple ways. Zinc facilitates cell division, growth and wound healing. It’s widely distributed in foods, but high amounts of zinc are found in oysters, red meats, seafood, poultry, whole grains and fortified cereals. The RDA for zinc is 11mg for men and 8mg for women daily.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

The body doesn’t naturally produce omega-3 fatty acids, yet they are essential to the human body and must come from the diet. They help with blood circulation, wound healing, skin integrity and reduce inflammation. Omega-3 fatty acids come in three types: eicosapentaenic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). EPA and DHA are obtained by eating cold-water fish. ALA comes from plant oils and seeds such as flaxseeds. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends the general public consume at least two servings (3.5 oz per serving) of fatty fish such as canned tuna, shrimp, halibut, pollock and catfish weekly.


5 comments on “Cracked Heels & Nutritional Deficiency
  1. Debra says:

    i appreciate the article! However I cannot consume the fish you mentioned. Would Krill oil or fish oil supplements be a good replacement for cold water fish oils? Who can eat the fish that are exposed to toxins and feel safe doing so? Especially tuna & not knowing if farm raised fish are safe…

  2. Emma Collins says:

    I am not sure if this was mentioned, in the article, but severe build up of callous, to cause cracked heels, also can relate to wearing a poor fitting, or too hard a sole, shoe, like clogs, or any shoe that does not support the foot carefully. I think ill-fitting shoes is also the cause of build up of callous, and cracked heels.
    But I think also, it sometimes also depends on the peron’s health condition. If you’re wearing an ill-fitted shoe, one that is rubbing, causing blisters and risking the cracking in the skin, you are at risk for an infection. But a person who already has genetic conditions for it, getting cracked heels would only exasperate, and probably push further along, to possibly need aputation. Cracked heels risks bacteria to get into the blood-stream, therefore plays a toll upon one’s body, and genetic condition. It helps push it along, further. I have Neuropathy, and that’s why I need to regularly visit Vascular, to have my heels scraped, and to ensure ulcers have not formed, or beginning to form.

  3. Emma Collins says:

    I am not sure if this was mentioned, in the article, but severe build up of callous, to cause cracked heels, also can relate to wearing a poor fitting, or too hard a sole, shoe, like clogs, or any shoe that does not support the foot carefully. I think ill-fitting shoes is also the cause of build up of callous, and cracked heels.
    But I think also, it sometimes also depends on the peron’s health condition. If you’re wearing an ill-fitted shoe, one that is rubbing, causing blisters and risking the cracking in the skin, you are at risk for an infection. But a person who already has genetic conditions for it, getting cracked heels would only exasperate, and probably push further along, to possibly need aputation. Cracked heels risks bacteria to get into the blood-stream, therefore plays a toll upon one’s body, and genetic condition. It helps push it along, further. I have Neuropathy, and that’s why I need to regularly visit Vascular, to have my heels scraped, and to ensure ulcers have not formed, or beginning to form.

  4. Kitty says:

    I have diabetes and am supposed to make sure my feet do not crack so I put lotion on after every shower or bath and then put a heavy cream or vasaline over that, sometimes both if it’s winter because the air is so dry. since doing this I do not have cracked heals anymore.

  5. Denise Loring says:

    I had really cracked, dry heels like the ones pictured and when I addressed my nutritional deficiencies with vitamin supplementation, it went away with no extra effort on my part. I totally believe that with the changes that I made they would be even worse, although at one time they were bad enough to bleed at times.

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