Self Management of Cracked Heels

The cracked skin that you can get around the edges the heels is often a painful condition if it is allowed to progress. This condition happens when the skin around the backs of the heel is dryer and thicker than it should normally be. When the callus increases to make that dry thicker skin, it just splits as it is not too supple or flexible. The crack that develops in the hard skin, then attempts to tear or rip the normal skin under it. In the worst cases of cracked heels, this will become painful, may bleed and become a portal for an infection, so does need to be taken seriously. The reason for these cracked heels is not totally clear. Some individuals simply tend to have a dryer skin and some people, because of the way that they walk have a tendency to build up the callus around the periphery of the heel. Being overweight can also be a risk factor for this. Shoes that are open at the back are also considered to play a part in this condition.

The ideal way to manage the cracked heels is to get a competent podiatrist to remove the thicker hard skin and then use an emollient to soften the remaining skin. You could try and remove that skin yourself with something such as a pumice stone or file, but that is a lot of work and needs to be carried out a lot. The emollient ointment used after this ought to be put on a regular basis to help keep the skin well moisturized and supple. There is a lot of thoughts and opinions of what is the most effective lotion or emollient to use is and the best answer is the one that matches your skin. A bit of experimentation may be required to get the best one. For cracked heels most foot doctors usually suggest beginning with a urea based ointment.

Why did Chinese Foot Binding exist?

Chinese foot binding was a particularly savage technique which persisted mostly in rural China until recently. This was largely a cultural practice. The practice involved the very restricted binding of the feet of girls and the maintaining of them bound to stop the feet from developing. This was an agonizing process and brought about considerable deformity and disability. Children who were being subjected to this process had to use specifically created and manufactured footwear. There was quite an art to this and the shoes that these children were required to use were adorned quite purposely and exotically. The main reason for the technique of Chinese foot binding was that smaller feet were considered considerably more attractive in women. A much better price could be demanded by the family of the bride to be for the dowry. The technique was very widespread in rural China for several centuries and just recently began to die out about 100 years ago resulting from social pressures which were brought to bear on the practice a result of the pain and impairment it has been creating.

You can still find some older Chinese woman alive right now with these deformed feet from the foot binding when they were younger. The tragedy is because of what happened once they were young children they do need to keep their feet bound because it is more at ease than not having them bound since the deformity is now so great. There have been a great deal of cultural and psychological research into the foot binding particularly in the context of it being carried out too please the male as opposed to being of any advantage to the female. Of contemporary attention is the current practice of females using tight fitting high heel shoes has attracted characteristics with Chinese foot binding. Some of the social and psychological analysis of this have actually suggested the analogy between the two practices and who actually benefits from the practice. Both are painful, both create foot deformity, and both are for the benefit of the male gender.