Cracked Heels

Cracked heels, also known as early-stage fissures, occurs when the skin on the heel of your foot becomes dry and starts to crack. In some cases, when left untreated, the skin can become extremely hard and calloused. If left completely untreated, it can lead to full fissures, where the deeper skin (dermis) becomes inflamed and painful.

What causes cracked heels?

The causes of cracked heels include: 

  • An underlying health condition such as diabetes, eczema, psoriasis
  • Increased weight gain
  • Conditions related to poor circulation (cardiovascular diseases)
  • Poor nutrition

Dry skin can also cause cracked heels. Our friendly and experienced podiatrists provide proactive advice and guidance on how to prevent cracked heels. Visit our clinic for a Podiatry appointment to find out more. 

There is a range of common symptoms associated with cracked heels, such as:

  • Dry or itchy heels
  • Hard skin on the heels, which become brittle
  • Pain or discomfort
  • Difficulties standing or walking
  • Bleeding or discharge coming from the inflamed area

The treatments for cracked heels can be relatively simple. The available options include home remedies such as skin care products and foot soaking, which follows a before-bedtime routine of:

1. Soaking your feet in warm, plain or soapy water for at least 20 mins, patting them dry afterwards

2. Gently scrubbing your heels with a loofah or foot scrubber/file

3. Generously moisturising your feet with an oil-based or thick moisturiser 

4. Putting on light cotton socks to ensure absorbency of the moisturiser

Beyond home remedies, you may need to seek prescribed ointments or stronger creams and/or moisturisers. Losing excess weight, improving nutrition and wearing more supportive footwear, can help in reducing the irritation caused by cracked heels. 

There are a few complications that stem from cracked heels. If they are left untreated, there is a high risk that cracked heels may become fissures. Fissures are a deeper cracking of the dermis (deeper skin tissue) which are more painful and complex to treat.

Here at Footfocus Podiatry, we believe if you look after your feet (or let us do it for you), your feet will look after you. Therefore, to prevent cracked heels, we recommend that you moisturise your feet daily, wear supportive and comfortable shoes and nurture your feet.  

To look after your feet as best as possible, book a Podiatry appointment with one of our friendly and knowledgeable podiatrists.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above, or you would like some friendly advice from our highly skilled team at Footfocus Podiatry, we’re here to help. We can give you advice on which skin care products will work best for you and how to use them in the most effective ways.

Book an appointment with one of our professional podiatrists today.

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