How do you get it?
Cracked heels, also known as heel fissures, are a common foot condition that occurs when the skin on the heels becomes dry, thickened, and begins to split or crack. This condition can range from a cosmetic concern to a painful and potentially more severe issue if left untreated. Cracked heels can be caused by several factors, and treatment typically involves a combination of self-care measures and, in some cases, medical intervention. Symptoms of cracked heels can include:
- Cracked or fissured skin on the heels or other parts of the feet.
- Discomfort or pain when walking, especially if the cracks are deep.
- Bleeding or discharge in severe cases.
- Redness and inflammation around the cracks.
Causes can include:
- Dry Skin: The most common cause of cracked heels is dry skin. Factors such as low humidity, cold weather, excessive soaking of the feet, and inadequate moisturizing can lead to dryness and cracking. It can also be caused by a number of systemic conditions including diabetes and an under-active thyroid.
- Prolonged Standing: People who spend long hours on their feet, especially on hard surfaces, are more prone to developing cracked heels.
- Ill-Fitting Shoes: Shoes that do not provide proper support, have open backs or rub against the heels can exacerbate the problem.
- Obesity: Excess weight can put increased pressure on the feet, leading to cracking in some cases.
- Skin Conditions: Certain skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, or athlete’s foot can contribute to dry and cracked skin on the feet.
- Aging: As people age, the skin naturally becomes thinner and may be more prone to dryness and cracking.
If your cracked heels are causing you pain you may need to book a Nail & Skin Appointment. The pain associated with cracked heels may be very little to begin with. However if they develop into open wounds, then walking may become very uncomfortable, painful as well as being unsightly.
At your Nail & Skin Appointment your Podiatrist will complete an assessment to determine the cause of your cracked heels. They will also remove dry skin and callous; cracked heels may not heal if the overlying callous is not reduced, give advice on footwear and recommend emollients like Callusan. Cushioning insoles may be recommended to help relieve pain.
It’s important to address the problem promptly, as untreated fissures can deepen, become infected, or lead to more serious foot problems. Consistent foot care and regular appointments with your Podiatrist can help prevent and alleviate this common condition. Your Podiatrist will also give you tips and recommendations on how you can take care of your feet. Book a Nail & Skin Appointment, today!