heel fissures & cracked heels
Dry, cracked heels, also known as heel fissures, are splits or cracks in the skin (epidermis). Superficial heel fissures are safe but unsightly. When heel fissures break into the deeper skin (dermis), these cracks can often bleed, are painful and become an entry point for bacteria and fungus.
What causes cracked heels?
- Barefoot walking.
- Standing on hard surfaces for an extended period.
- Weight gain can put extra pressure on the heels and also forces skin around the heels to expand.
- Ill-fitting footwear or sandals.
- Infections - athlete's foot
- Climate change - winter air is drier than in the summer, causing the skin to be more dehydrated.
- Vitamin deficiencies
- Hormone imbalances - thyroid disorders
- Systemic conditions - eczema, psoriasis, diabetes
- Circulation problems - peripheral arterial disease
Cracked heels treatment
Using an emollient daily will repair cracked heels and heel fissures. Cracked heel creams will prevent water loss from the epidermis. Some emollients contain a humectant such as urea, lactic acid and glycerine. Using occlusion (e.g. socks at night) may be necessary with severe cases.
Often the callus surrounding heel fissures can be challenging to remove. Chiropodists and podiatrists will help remove callus from the heel safely and recommend the most appropriate emollient for your feet.
At the Mount Joy Foot Clinic & Orthotic Centre, we use PodoExpert Cracked Skin Formula to help repair your skin at the cellular level. PodoExpert Cracked Skin Formula is an evidence-based product for everyday use to get you back to healthier-looking feet. Our clinic provides a comprehensive plan for cracked heel treatment in Markham.