The skin around the heel area of the feet can become excessively dry causing it to crack and fissure. They can become quite painful and lead to more serious conditions if not treated promptly. The skin around the heel is naturally thicker than other areas of the foot and so requires more moisture to keep it supple. If the skin becomes too dry and lacking in moisture, the upper layers start to lose their flexibility causing the skin to split and crack. Cracked heels are quite a common condition, particularly in the summer months and in warmer climates.
Anyone can develop cracked heels though certain factors can make some people more prone to the condition:-
- Age – skin naturally loses moisture as it ages.
- Being overweight.
- Wearing shoes with open backs that expose the heels.
- Skin conditions such as athlete’s foot, psoriasis and eczema.
- Prolonged standing.
- Diabetes can cause dry skin.
- Dry, peeling, flaking, minor skin irritation developing around the heels.
- This skin can also become yellow or off-white in colour.
- Vertical cracks known as fissures. The pressure placed on the heels when walking can cause fissures to split open and bleed. They can become very painful and susceptible to infection.
- Callus (Hard skin) around the heels and the edges of the fissures preventing the skin from healing.
Moisturising every day will help to keep heel-skin soft. Open-backed shoes which leave your heels exposed should also be avoided. Once the skin on your heels is no longer cracked, exfoliate regularly using scrubs and foot file or pumice stone.
A podiatrist can:
- Reduce dry and flaking skin.
- Reduce hard skin build up, particularly around the edges of a fissure in order to encourage the skin to heal.
- Check for open wounds and infection and treat accordingly.
- Advise on suitable moisturising products.
- Advise on footwear.
- Check for signs of skin condition and advise on suitable treatment.
Arrange A Cracked Heels Assessment Appointment
If you would like to make an initial booking enquiry for a Cracked Heels assessment at the Walk IN Foot Clinic then please submit your details below with a preferred day and we will get back to you as soon as possible with a confirmation of your appointment or suggest an alernative.