Heel fissures, or cracked heels, are a common problem. They tend to be caused by dry skin and may be made more troublesome if the skin around the heels has thick callus. Many people with cracked heels may not notice any pain or discomfort, but if the cracks are deep, they can become quite painful and can also cause bleeding. If not cared for properly, the wounds can also become infected which can lead to more significant and ongoing problems.
Wearing open or thin-soled shoes usually makes the symptoms worse.
There are a number of over-the-counter remedies, but If self-treatment isn’t helping, you may want to see a podiatrist. Podiatrists can safely remove any thick and hardened skin, which will help existing cracks to heal and allow any moisturiser to be absorbed more easily.
Thickened dry skin or callus around the heel is more likely to crack when certain mechanical factors come into play, for example the way you walk.
Other factors that can be involved in the cause of cracked heels include:
Open back shoes or barefoot walking
Some medical conditions which predispose to dry skin such as hormonal imbalance, neuropathy, hypothyroidism
Skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema
What can a podiatrist do for you?
· Perform comprehensive manual debridement of thickened skin
· Recommend creams to properly moisturise your skin
· Give advice about self-care options
· Apply padding and strapping or skin adhesive to help bring cracks together while they heal
· Assess your current footwear and/or orthotics and provide necessary adjustments
· Recommend alternatives to your current footwear and prescribe custom-made foot orthotics as needed for long-term control and prevention to help prevent the problem from recurring.
Visit Betafeet Podiatry and get those heels sorted for the summer and beyond!