Cracked heels, sometimes referred to as heel fissures, are typically thought of as a cosmetic foot problem. However, that’s only partly true. Left untreated, heel fissures can lead to severe pain or can complicate existing foot conditions, so it’s important to take care of these issues when they arise. Below, we take a closer look at the causes, treatments and prevention options for heel fissures.
Causes of Cracked Heels
Heel fissures can affect any person, but they are usually caused by a combination of dry skin and excessive stress on your feet. Because of this, individuals who live in a dry climate, those who are overweight and people who spend a lot of time on their feet are at greatest risk of developing cracked heels. Shoes also work as a layer of protection and climate control, so people who are frequently barefoot are also at risk.
Again, the issue may only seem cosmetic in nature, but severe cracks or untreated fissures can actually be quite painful. They can also act as an entry point for bacteria, increasing your risk of a foot infection which brings with it its own set of issues. Heel fissures can also be quite problematic for individuals with diabetes or those with compromised immune systems, because it can be difficult for those patients to get healthy blood to their extremities, and that can also increase their risk of infection or complications related to their cracked heels.
Treatment and Prevention of Heel Fissures
The good news is that treating and preventing cracked heels is rather straightforward now that you know the risk factors. You can help to prevent and treat heel fissures by:
Moisturizing your feet
Avoiding overstressing your feet/standing for extended periods
Using a pumice stone to gently remove cracked or flaking skin
Wearing shoes that have extra padding in the heel
Avoid going barefoot or wearing open-backed shoes
Carefully monitoring your feet for fissures, especially if you have other health conditions
Wearing socks while sleeping
If you’re still dealing with pesky heel fissures even after trying the above tips, or if your cracked heels are causing a significant amount of discomfort, reach out to the team at Silverman Ankle & Foot today. We’ve helped people put their cracked heels in the past, and we can do the same for you. Give us a call today at (952) 224-8500 for more information.