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Cracked Heel

Understanding Cracked Heel / Heel Fissures and Treatment Options

Cracked heels are a common foot condition also known as heel fissures. These heel fissures are caused by dry skin around the heel periphery and are worse if the skin is thickened. These calloused heels can be quite unsightly as well as serious when deep painful cracks develop along with bleeding and infection.

Why do I get cracked heel? Dry, cracked or fissures heels are commonly correlated with dryness, and some people are naturally dry skinned. When the skin around the heel becomes dry, it then starts to split.

Factors that predispose people to cracked heel are:

  • Prolonged standing, especially on hard surface.

  • Being overweight, causing excess pressure on the heel pads.

  • Poor footwear such as open back shoes, thongs, and sandals or barefoot.

  • Abnormal walking patterns and dehydration.

  • Neglect of the heels.

  • Presence of systemic conditions such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, psoriasis, and eczema.

Cracked heels are commonly made worst in the summertime.

What sorts of treatments are available for cracked heels? For minor cases of cracked heels, the following self-management treatments can be implemented:

The Dos:

  • Gentle rubbing of the heels with a pumice stone to reduce dryness and rough skin.

  • Apply good quality emollient after bathing or showering. The preparation should contain urea and should be used daily. Should you need help with the type of cream you should apply, please don’t be hesitate to consult our podiatrists.

  • Wear shoes made from leather and breathable materials as they do not contribute to dehydration or excessive sweatiness of the feet.

The Don’ts:

  • Do not try and cut the fissure or callus build up and pick or peel skin on thickened heel callouses.

  • Use of excessively hot water in bathing or showering.

  • Wear open back shoes

Should the heel cracks bleed and become painful, podiatrist help should be sort.

This is particularly crucial for people with diabetes or other circulatory conditions as their decreased sensation and reduced blood flow can impair healing and lead to more serious complications.

Our podiatrist can:

  • painlessly reduce the hard dry skin by debriding it with a scalpel. The regular removal of dry skin fissures is recommended to keep the problem under control.

  • drill the heels with a sandpaper disc for extra smoothness.

  • prescribe suitable emollients to improve skin suppleness and elasticity.

  • supply special accommodative innersoles or orthotics if the problem is caused by an incorrect walking gait.

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