Do you have rough, cracked skin on the bottom of your heels? You may be self-conscious of these unpleasant skin areas, but the worst part is that they can be very painful.
Heel cracks are also called heel fissures. When the dry skin builds up on the heel and cracks under pressure, it may be difficult to heal. Without treatment, the cracks will get deeper and bleed, and in serious cases can even become infected.
If your skin is naturally dry, you may develop heel cracks from mechanical causes – the way you walk can put excessive pressure on your heels. Individuals who frequently wear open-back shoes or sandals, take certain medications or have a skin condition like psoriasis or eczema may be prone to heel cracks. Other risk groups include those who stand for long periods on hard surfaces or are overweight.
Treating Heel Fissures
If your heel cracks are not deep, you may be able to treat them at home. Massage the dry areas twice a day with an oil-based cream or lotion. Apply at night before bed and cover with soft cotton socks. Rub the area very gently after bathing with a pumice stone and smooth on moisturizer again.
If the cracks deepen, bleed or show signs of infection, contact Stavros O. Alexopoulos, DPM right away. Successful treatment is very important especially for any patients with diabetes or a compromised immune system.
We’ll examine your feet to establish the cause of the problem and medically remove the excess dead skin. We can then bind the area to promote healing and relieve pain.
Treat Your Feet Right To Prevent Heel Cracks
Here are tips to keep your heels smooth and comfortable once your heel fissures are healed:
- Apply oil-based moisturizer or heel balm twice a day to both heels.
- Remove excess dead skin after bathing by rubbing gently with a pumice stone.
- Choose shoes with closed heels and socks as often as possible.
- Wear comfortable, supportive, well-fitting shoes. Heel pads can add extra cushioning and protect the heel’s natural fat pad from wearing down.
- Avoid flimsy sandals – they provide inadequate support and expose your feet to drying conditions.
Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! And minimize the amount of dead skin on the heels that may form cracks. Those are the secrets to preventing heel fissures.
Always Seek Medical Help for Deep, Bleeding or Infected Heel Cracks
Dr. Alexopoulos, board certified podiatrist can help relieve the pain and unattractiveness of heel fissures. Please call for an appointment in our Chicago office at (773) 561-8100 or request an appointment via the website.