Cracked skin. Why do we get it, and how to treat it?

  3 minutes

Have you noticed cracked skin on your hands, feet or lips? While it can seem quite scary, it can be an indication of deeper issues on parts of your body. Today we will explore the different ways in which you can equip yourself with the right tools to give the cracks a good fight!

Let us begin by understanding the causes of cracked skin.

When we think of cracked skin, the first thing that comes to mind is dry skin. While extremely dry skin is one of the main reasons why your skin can crack, other factors cause this as well. Let’s explore!

The basic dry skin

If left untreated, dry skin can lead to the complete loss of moisture in your skin. This leads to the skin losing its natural elasticity and shrinking. Because of the shrinking of the skin, when movement occurs, or the skin is slightly stretched, it tends to crack.

Standing for a long time.

Standing with your feet taking the majority of your body weight can lead to the cracking of your heels. This can also occur when your skin is not taken care of properly and exposed to dust and dirt by walking barefoot.

Diabetes

Diabetes can be a cause of cracked skin along with its other symptoms and complications.

1. Anhidrosis caused by diabetes is when your skin loses its ability to produce sweat or produces a minimal amount.

2. Diabetic neuropathy is when your nerves get affected by your body’s high blood sugar. This can cause cracked skin too.

Medical conditions

Many medical conditions cause cracked skin as a symptom or side effect.

1. Hypothyroidism

2. Malnutrition

3. Sjogren’s syndrome

4. Hormonal imbalances

5. Psoriasis

6. Ichthyosis

7. Excess body weight

8. Eczema

9. Dermatitis

10.  Allergies

What can happen if your cracked skin is not treated?

If left untreated, there can be pretty severe complications with your cracked skin. When cracked, the inner layers of your skin are exposed. This makes it more susceptible to infections. If the infection is also not treated, then it can turn into sepsis. Sepsis is a dangerous bacterial blood infection. To avoid the deepening of fissures caused by cracked skin, tissue skin infections, and permanent scarring, make sure that you catch this at its early stage and get it treated by a professional.

10 ways to help treat cracked skin?

There are many ways in which you can help heal your cracked skin right from its early stages to more dire states.

1. First and foremost, you have to moisturise your skin. A lot! Use an unscented, nourishing cream so that it doesn’t irritate your cracks. If it is terrible, then your dermatologist will prescribe a medicated ointment.

2. A short soak in lukewarm water can help heal cracked skin. You can add a few drops of oil to the water too. Avoid this if you suspect infection on or near the cracked skin.

3. Visit a doctor or a dermatologist to ensure that you don’t have more severe health issues that might be causing your skin to crack. If so, then follow your doctor’s orders religiously.

4. A humidifier is one way in which you can help avoid dry skin in dry seasons or climates.

5. Do not peel off the cracked or flaking skin, as this will only increase the chances of an infection.

6. Keep your hands and feet protected with socks and gloves.

7. Keep your lips hydrated with a nourishing balm.

8. Moisturise hands after sanitising and washing them during the pandemic.

9. For medical conditions, you might require corticosteroid creams, calcineurin inhibitors and oral medication along with topical ointments.

10.  Drink lots of water and eat foods rich in vitamin and minerals.

The silver lining

Cracked skin can be uncomfortable and sometimes even painful. So don’t let it go unnoticed. Immediately hydrate your skin and visit a doctor if it gets worse.

Disclaimer

The natural remedies mentioned in the blog are the widely popular ones. However, it is in no way a substitute for medical advice, treatment or diagnosis. Avoid using these if you have sensitive skin or are prone to allergies. 

Before trying any natural remedy, always test a small quantity on your skin to check for any adverse reactions or allergy to any particular ingredient. Then, in case of an emergency or any reaction, immediately connect with a doctor who can offer the proper treatment.

FAQ’s

1. What are the most common places for your skin to crack?

The most common areas where cracked skin occurs are your hands, feet and lips, but apart from this, it is possible to develop cracks on your elbows and knees too.

2. What natural alternatives can I use to cream?

You can use natural products like shea butter, coconut oil, jojoba oil and olive oil, hyaluronic acid, glycerin and urea. Just make sure you are not allergic to any of these ingredients before using them on your skin.

3. Can my cracked skin bleed?

Yes, your skin can bleed if it is badly affected. You should definitely see a doctor in this case.

4. Can I use super glue to heal my cracked skin?

Definitely not. Do not experiment with random trends found on the internet. . Go and see your doctor for the appropriate treatment.

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Author

Namya Naresh

Namya Naresh

An obsessive dreamer, vegetarian foodie and shy singer, Namya spends her time immersed in the world of Literature and Music. She is currently writing her first novel, advocating for mental health, self-love and bringing you your daily dose of skincare with CureSkin!

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