Causes and Treatments for Cracked Heels

HELEN RICHARDS - FEBRUARY 2018

Our feet work incredibly hard for us every day, which is why maintaining a good level of foot health is important. Cracked heels are a common condition among many people, which can often cause discomfort and pain, if not treated correctly. Why not have a read of our blog to find out more about the causes of cracked heels and how you can treat and prevent them?

Causes of Cracked Heels

Cracked heels occur when the dry skin on our feet splits. One main reason for this is due to a lack of moisture, which causes our skin to dry out. When moisture is lost, the heel begins to form thick areas of rough skin as a form of protection. In time, these dry skin layers begin to build up and eventually start to crack. Cracked heels appear more often, when dry skin is not removed regularly combined with a lack of moisture.

Another major cause of dry skin is calluses. Calluses are patches of yellow thick, dry skin that grow over injured areas of the skin to protect it. When these are left untreated, they often split under pressure.

Other factors which contribute to cracked heels are: intense pressure or friction on the feet, extreme weather conditions, taking considerably long hot showers or baths, using harsh soaps, wearing footwear with thin soles or open backs and wearing high heels which do not fit properly.

Treating Cracked Heels

An effective way to prevent cracked heels is by using moisturiser. By moisturising your feet twice, a day, it can help to hydrate and soften cracked heels. First, wash and towel dry your feet, thoroughly, and then massage moisturiser into your feet until it has completely absorbed.

Another great way to keep dry skin at bay is by using a pumice stone. Pumice stones help remove the dead skin on your feet, which prevents them from healing properly. They remove the tough skin layer-by-layer until smoother, softer skin appears. However, if your feet are suffering from calluses, it is better to let a podiatrist look at your feet. A podiatrist may decide to remove certain callus tissue, which will help the healing process. Please, do not attempt to do this yourself, as this can result in infection or extreme skin removal when done incorrectly.

If you struggle to find the time to care for your feet, you can soften skin quickly by soaking your feet in warm water. And remember, it’s essential to wear shoes that support and protect the ball of your feet and avoid shoes that are very tight or too loose.

When it comes to foot health, it’s so important to constantly monitor your feet. You should give your feet the same attention and care that you would give the rest of your body.

If you are still suffering from cracked heels after trying these home remedies, please don’t hesitate to contact us here at ‘Heels & Toes Podiatry’ on 01782 538792. Removal of dry skin is part of your visit to our podiatry and we’re more than happy to advise you further on any foot concerns you may have.

Thanks for reading! The Heels & Toes team

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