Cracked heels are a common foot complaint and are also known as heel fissures.
They are caused by cracking or splitting of the skin. The splitting may be due to dryness or a build up of callous (hard skin) that breaks or cracks under pressure. This can lead to unsightly, painful and even bleeding heels. When the fissures are deep and bleeding it can lead to infection.
What Causes It?
- Walking around barefoot or in thongs, slides or open back shoes
- Standing on your feet for long periods of time especially on hard floors.
- Excess weight will place more pressure on your heels and the fat pad will expand laterally causing the skin to split.
- Certain medical conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, diabetes, thyroid problems, kidney disease
- Circulation problems
- Fungal infections of the skin
Podiatrists have the expertise and necessary tools to safely and painlessly remove the dead, hard skin. Podiatrists can advise on emollients/creams to increase the skins suppleness or flexibility. They can identify the cause and formulate management plans to prevent recurrence
It is important for people with medical conditions such as diabetes or circulatory problems not to attempt to self treat. They can have decreased sensation and poor healing which can lead to complications if they decide to treat it themselves.