Why do cracks develop on the heels?
Cracked heels develop when the skin of the heels split. While it is often the hard, callused outer skin layer (epidermis) that cracks, it can also occur to softer, non-callused (and often dry) skin that is repetitively placed under high pressure. If heel cracks remain untreated, they can progress into fissures, which split the skin at a deeper level and can be very painful.
What causes the skin to crack?
Dry skin is the reason most people assume they have cracking heels, but increased weight, diabetes, neuropathy, poor circulation and poor nutrition can also cause poor foot health.
Symptoms of heel cracks and fissures vary from mild to severe. The most apparent sign is cracks in the epidermis of the heels. Other symptoms include:
- Dry, itchy heels
- Hard skin on the heels
- Difficulties standing or walking
- Bleeding or discharge
How are cracked heels treated?
With proper treatment, cracked heels should not evolve into fissures. Moisturising the feet two times a day will help the cracks in most cases. If the outer skin layer is thick, it will need to be reduced by your Podiatrist. Exercise will improve poor circulation to the feet that can help heal or prevent cracks from reappearing again. The support from your footwear should be assessed to see if the hard surfaces are contributing to the development of your cracks, or the dryness of your feet. If cracks or deep fissures are persistent, a diet lacking proper nutrients may be the culprit.
Our team can identify the cause of the cracks/fissures and provide you with an appropriate treatment plan.