Cracked Heels & Heel Fissures
What is it?
Smooth, healthy feet look and feel great… Dry, cracked heels can be painful, itchy and embarrassing. Most minor heel cracking can be treated at home (see below); however, for best results our podiatrists can remove all of the dead, thickened skin from your feel in just 30minutes… bring on the summer shoes! Thick or dry skin around the heels loses its natural elasticity causing it to split under the pressure of walking. There are a number of lifestyle and medical factors that can contribute to cracked heels including (this list is not exhaustive):
- Walking around in bare feet or thongs can dry out the feet.
- Prolonged standing on solid surfaces such as tiles, wooden flooring, concrete.
- Increased BMI (body weight) which increases the pressure on the heels causing callus
- Poorly fitted shoes
- Hormonal problems including Thyroid & Estrogen imbalances
- Dermatitis cause by Athlete’s Foot
- Psoriasis & Eczema
- Kidney Disease
- Deficiencies in vitamins, minerals, zinc and malnutrition
4 Life Podiatry
At 4 Life Podiatry, our Podiatrists have access to specialised podiatry equipment to quickly and painlessly remove dead skin and calluses that form cracked heels. We can also prescribe appropriate emollients to improve skin suppleness and elasticity to prevent recurrence. In the case of large or deep cracks a dressing or taping may be applied. Rarely cracked heels are caused by more serious medical problems and our Podiatrists can provide advice and referral to appropriate medical practitioners if required.
Prevention & Home Management Strategies
Most cases of cracked heels can be treated with self-management strategies, if desired. Some recommendations include:
- Moisturise the heels twice daily with a podiatry recommended products, available at our clinic
- For less severe cases a pumice stone or emery board can be used reduce the thickness of dry, hard skin.
- Wear closed in shoes with socks. Go for breathable leather uppers and natural fibres such as cotton socks.
- Drink plenty of water and include essential fatty acids (Omega 3) in your diet.