Heel Fissures

  • By Judith Sullivan
  • 31 Mar, 2017
18 April 2016
Author/blogger Reggie Simpson

Get cracking to the podiatrist!

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:

  • Prolonged standing

  • Being overweight

  • 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!

By Judith Sullivan 09 Dec, 2017
By Reggie Simpson
By Judith Sullivan 28 Sep, 2017

We are delighted to announce that prose written by our Practice Business Manager, Reggie Simpson, will be featured in the Rennie Grove Hospice Care’s Rhyme & Reason 2018 diary, now in its 26th year. The theme for this forthcoming year’s diary is ‘Freedom’. All proceeds from sales of the diary go to support this worthwhile charity.

Reggie says: ‘Although my entry wasn't among the top poetry and prize winners, I was chuffed to be selected for the 2018 diary. The theme was quite broad, but my degrees in politics and love of writing invariably drew me to entering the competition. In the end I settled on a focus of freedom in healthcare, no doubt inspired by my current employment at Betafeet Podiatry and the noble work of Rennie Grove Hospice Care ( www.renniegrove.org ).

Rennie Grove Hospice Care, formally known as Iain Rennie Hospice at Home, merged with Grove House, St Albans in 2010 to integrate services in south western Hertfordshire. The ethos and values of the two charities were closely aligned with the principle of allowing patients to lead a good quality of life at home for as long as possible, helping patients and their families avoid the distress of unnecessary hospital visits whenever possible.

The diaries can be ordered from the Rennie Grove website, payment by debit/credit card. It's part of their annual Christmas/holiday promotion. There will also be copies in local Rennie Grove shops. They are £5 each with additional postage if bought online. Shop locations can be found here: http://www.renniegrove.org/support/our-shops/online-shop/page/2/ .

Here is Reggie’s entry (to appear in the month of September 2018): 

‘Do not count the days; make the days count.’

Muhammad Ali. Professional Boxer.  Audacious. Charismatic. A winner in the ring.

But even when you have won it all, life throws you a few more punches.

Yes, his name opened doors and wealth, but the bombastic man of his younger years was humbled in later life, and following retirement, he dedicated himself increasingly to charitable work. Parkinson’s was already taking hold.

He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005, the highest honour the USA can bestow.   He died in June 2016, aged 74.

Now the news is about boxing helping dementia sufferers.

So what does this mean for freedom? Does getting battered around the head spell freedom and choice? One would say yes; a boxer is free to take such risks. When the consequences deal you a fatal blow as a result, when do you lose your freedom? Is it when you have been reduced to a shadow of your former self, a normal human being, and have to rely on others? Muhammad Ali likely had plenty of resources to ensure his final days would help him on his final journey.

We tend to think of freedom in political terms. It is hard to remove freedom in healthcare from politics. Think NHS reform, among others. Freedom in a healthcare environment means more to the individuals and families when they have life-limiting illnesses and need the care of volunteer-run hospices such as Iain Rennie Grove.

The NHS gives patients the rights to make choices about different aspects of the care they receive, from the different treatment options available. How these are chosen is individual, although for those with life threatening or limiting illnesses this choice will fall on family members. 

I quote the following:

‘In health there is freedom. Health is the first of all liberties’.

Henri-Frédéric Amiel, Philosopher

September is World Alzheimer’s Month.




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