Conquering the Cracks: Why Cracked Heels and Split Fingers Can Be Painful and How to Treat Them Effectively
Those of us who experience cracked fingers and heels, either periodically or on a daily basis, know how painful and uncomfortable they can be. This is especially true if you're someone who suffers from hand and heel fissures which are often more severe and much deeper than superficial cracks on your fingers or heels.
What might start out as dry feet or very dry hands can quickly turn into painful cracked heels and fingers and can be a symptom of or entry point for a range of bacterial or fungal skin infections. For these reasons, intervention with a scientifically-proven intensive skin repair cream as early as possible is essential to the healing process. In this blog article, we'll take a look at some of the leading causes of dry, cracked feet and fingers and why some feet and hand fissures take longer to heal than others. We'll then give you our top recommendations on how to treat deep cracks and bleeding in your feet and fingers, providing you with a patented skin repair solution that will ensure optimal skin barrier health and have you back on the move and living life to the fullest!
Image of cracked heels
What Causes Dry, Cracked Heels and Split Fingers?
There are a number of factors that can cause dry, cracked heels and split fingers. One of the most important ways to empower yourself with the knowledge to understand why this happens is to identify the cause and begin your journey towards a lasting skin repair solution.
Firstly, it’s important to note that our skin is naturally designed to protect us from external aggressors such as extreme temperatures, harsh chemicals, infection, and disease. Your skin barrier, which is the outermost layer of your skin, is responsible for regulating the moisture that keeps it hydrated. The skin barrier is made up of essential lipids (fats), ceramides, and cholesterol, which work together to create a “shield” that protects the inner layers of your skin, essentially keeping moisture in and irritants out. When this natural defense system is weakened or damaged, you may begin to notice dry skin, cracked heels and fingers, or skin fissures.
Some of the most common causes of dry and cracked heels and split fingers include:
Exposure to extreme weather
Low humidity and cold weather can quickly dry out your skin, making it more vulnerable to cracking. Taking long showers or hot baths can exacerbate this problem by removing natural oils from your skin and depleting the moisture. Additionally, if you've got heating or air conditioning in your home, the dry air can lead to more severe cracking.
Excessive hand washing with harsh soaps
Ingredients such as triclosan, sodium lauryl, or laureth sulfate found in hand soaps can irritate and damage the lipids in your skin barrier, making it more susceptible to cracking. That's why studies have shown that healthcare professionals have a higher prevalence of skin irritation due to their frequent use of hand hygiene products.
Skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema
Psoriasis and eczema are two common skin conditions that can cause dry, itchy skin and damage to the delicate skin barrier which, in turn, leads to cracked skin. Both conditions are believed to be an immune system disorder that causes inflammation and can lead to scratching and eventually skin cracking.
Dehydration and vitamin deficiencies
If you're not consuming enough water throughout the day, and you're low on Omega-3s, antioxidants, and other essential vitamins and minerals, your immune system and skin barrier can become weakened and depleted. One study found that 75% of American adults suffer from chronic dehydration, so if you're not getting the recommended amount of water a day and supplementing with the essential nutrients your body needs, this could be contributing to your weakened skin barrier.
The relationship between diabetes and heel fissures has long been documented. Diabetes is known to reduce blood flow to the feet, causing a host of symptoms including foot fissures and cracked heels. This can become especially problematic if the cracks and fissures get infected, as diabetes can also reduce your body's ability to fight infection.
Other causes of cracked heels and split fingers may include:
- Excessive exposure to UV rays from the sun or tanning beds.
- Hormonal changes during pregnancy or menopause.
- Allergic reactions to medications or skincare products.
- Contact with harsh chemicals in the home or workplace.
Why Won't My Cracked Heels and Split Fingers Heal?
There are two main reasons why cracked fingers and heels are resistant to healing.
- Your skin barrier might be very compromised
In order to treat painful cracked heels and split fingers, you need a cracked skin moisturizer that is comprehensive enough to replenish the skin barrier while also providing long-term relief. This means finding a moisturizer that is rich in essential fatty acids, natural lipids, and ceramides so that the skin barrier can be properly restored. Simply increasing your water intake, Omega-3s and Omega-6s, and using a generalized topical moisturizer won't be enough to repair and restore your skin barrier, reduce inflammation, and replenish the lipids that are responsible for sealing in hydration.
- Superficial cracks might have turned into hand fissures or heel fissures
Cracked skin that is left untreated for too long can eventually get infected or turn into deeper cracks, known as hand fissures or heel fissures. These can be very painful and difficult to heal because the underlying layers of skin called the epidermis and dermis have been damaged. The best way to treat these cracks is by using a specialized cracked skin repair cream that can be absorbed into the layers of your skin barrier and provide a long-term solution for a healthier skin barrier. Additionally, those with diabetic neuropathy may have heel fissures that are more resistant to treatment and should seek medical support while using a topical treatment.
How to Treat Deep Cracks and Bleeding
If you've already got deep heel cracks or finger cracks and you've noticed bleeding, it's essential that you start a skin repair solution as soon as possible. This will help prevent further damage from occurring and give your skin the chance to heal correctly while maintaining an optimal skin barrier strength. If you have active bleeding, it's important to remember that you might be more susceptible to infection because of an open wound, so make sure that you keep the area clean, apply a thin layer of a topical antibiotic to prevent infection, and close and dress the wound. Waterproof bandages and gauze work well for minor wounds, but if you need the help of a health care practitioner to dress an open wound, make sure to follow their instructions for proper wound care.
Once the bleeding has stopped, you can start using a physician tested and recommended cracked skin repair cream. The best approach for treating deep finger and heel cracks is to use a unique formulation that can penetrate into the layers of the skin barrier to repair and restore its integrity. Clean and safe formulations are also preferable to ensure that you're not introducing any harsh or potentially irritating ingredients to the area.
If your deep cracks and heel fissures are being caused by an underlying medical condition such as diabetes and you notice active bleeding, it's important to seek medical support before treating with a topical solution. This will ensure that any infection is managed correctly.
How Do You Heal Cracked Heels and Split Fingers?
- Use a rich moisturizer that is specifically designed for treating cracked skin and skin fissures. This will help replenish the skin barrier, reduce inflammation and protect you from further damage.
- Make sure to use lukewarm water when washing your hands or feet, and avoid using soaps or detergents that can be harsh on the skin.
- Avoid fragrances, dyes, and other irritants that can further damage the skin.
- Avoid artificial preservatives such as parabens when selecting a dry skin moisturizer, as these can exacerbate the issue.
- Make sure to keep your hands and feet protected from extreme weather conditions, as cold or hot temperatures can worsen the condition.
- If you experience excessive bleeding or if you suspect you have an underlying medical condition that is causing cracked skin that won't heal, consult a medical professional and be sure to follow their intrusions on proper wound care.
Restoring Cracked Heels and Split Fingers with SkinIntegra's Patented Barrier Repair Formula
Healing cracked heels and split fingertips requires the use of specific skin care products that focus on moisturization, repair, and protection. When choosing products, it is essential to opt for those designed to address the unique needs of cracked and damaged skin.
SkinIntegra’s Rapid Crack Repair Cream is a novel repair moisturizer that was specifically formulated to help restore cracked hands and feet in individuals with compromised skin such as people with diabetes and psoriasis or eczema prone skin. Its patented composition is the result of research into all the components of a healthy skin barrier. For that reason, it includes the essential moisturizing and lipid ingredients naturally found in a healthy skin barrier such as urea, lactic acid, hyaluronic acid for moisturizers and essential fatty acids, natural oils and ceramides for lipids.
Rapid Crack Repair Cream is free of common skin irritants which can cause a reaction and slow the natural healing process in cracked skin such as fragrances, dyes, parabens and other harsh preservatives, petroleum-based ingredients, and phthalates.