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  • Writer's pictureMy Family Podiatry

Say Goodbye to Heel Cracks: Your Ultimate Guide to Smooth and Healthy Heels

Updated: Dec 27, 2023

As the seasons shift, the issue of heel cracks often makes an unwelcome appearance. For many people, heel fissures can cause pain, with some heel cracks even leading to bleeding! For others, these fissures are more of a nuisance, something they'd like to hide or avoid snagging on bed sheets.

Understanding Heel Cracks: Why Do They Occur?

The underside of the foot has a fat pad that serves as a cushion and shock absorber when we stand and walk. This fat pad compresses to absorb force, while the surrounding skin stretches to accommodate it. When the skin around the heel becomes dry and thick, it loses its flexibility and may crack. These cracks can start small and superficial but can quickly deepen, sometimes even causing bleeding.

Those who've experienced deep heel cracks know how painful they can be. Beyond the pain, and since our feet aren’t the cleanest part of our body, there's another concern: the risk of a skin infection called cellulitis. This can range from a mild redness and discomfort through to severe and even life threatening condition, especially in those with conditions such as diabetes.

Image on the left shoes a heel with cracks in the skin, the image on the right is a smooth heel after debridement and regular moisturiser use

Preventing Heel Cracks: Keeping Your Skin Soft

The key to preventing cracked skin on your feet is keeping the skin soft. You can do this in several ways:

  1. Use a high-urea moisturiser: At My Family Podiatry, we recommend Revive Daily, a 30% urea moisturiser that absorbs quickly into the feet. Urea helps prevent moisture loss, keeping your skin from drying out. Daily application of Revive Daily maintains soft and supple feet.

  2. Wear enclosed shoes whenever possible: Enclosed shoes help contain the foot fat pad, preventing skin stretching and protecting the skin from the elements.

  3. Socks: Wearing breathable socks made of natural fibers, such as cotton or bamboo, can help keep your feet comfortable and dry.

  4. Avoid harsh soaps: Some soaps can strip the skin of its natural oils, leading to dryness. Choose mild, moisturising soaps and cleansers for your feet to help maintain their natural moisture.

Heel Cracks Treatment: Journey to Smoother Heels

If your feet are already dry and cracked, the hard skin needs to be removed to prevent further splitting. At My Family Podiatry, we use a combination of physical debridement and emollient application, alongside some at home care:

  • Physical Debridement: We painlessly remove the hard skin from the feet, revealing the healthy, soft skin underneath. This allows the skin to stretch normally and stop cracking.

  • Emollients: Revive Daily is our preferred emollient. With 30% urea and 2% salicylic acid, it breaks down hard skin while preventing moisture loss. This fast-absorbing moisturiser doesn't leave a greasy or slimy residue, making it perfect for year-round use.

  • Gentle exfoliation: Soak your feet for 10-15 minutes before gently exfoliating the affected areas with a pumice stone or foot file to remove dead skin build-up. Remember to be gentle, as over-exfoliating can cause further irritation.

  • Consult a professional: If your heel fissures are severe, persistent, or infected, it's essential to consult your podiatrist for specialised treatment and advice.

If you're fed up with heel cracks, visit My Family Podiatry today and get your feet feeling fantastic again. To book an appointment, call 07 3088 6116 or click the button below!

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