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Cracked Heels, Callus and Heel Fissures

Dry, cracked heels can not only be unsightly, but can often be source of pain and embarrassment. The good news is that baby smooth heels are achievable with a little elbow grease and help from your podiatrist. Most minor cracked heels are able to be treated at home but for the best results our podiatrist’s can remove the dead skin from your feet in just 30mins leaving them soft, smooth and ready for sandals.

What are cracked heels?

Cracked heels are caused by cracking or splitting of the skin. This splitting may be due to dryness or thickening of the skin (callus). When the skin around the heels becomes thickened or dry, it loses its suppleness and elasticity, and can split under simple pressures such as that from walking. This can lead to unsightly, painful and even bleeding cracked heels. This can further be made worse in people who have a large fatty pad on the sole of their feet, which under pressure requires more elasticity in the skin to expand without cracking.

Causes of Cracked Heels

  • Skin type is often genetic. Some heels get very thick callus but don’t crack where as others have no callus at all but crack badly after a day on the beach.
  • Long standing at work or home, especially on hard floors
  • Increased weight which causes increased pressure on the heels causing callus. With increased weight the heel is also required to expand more and hence can often crack more.
  • Ill fitted shoes or sandals that don’t support the heels from expanding sideways under pressure.
  • Unhygienic circumstances or conditions as well a s fungal infections/tinea
  • Unhealthy, dry scaly skin that can be caused by climate, such as low humidity during dry summers or cold winters
  • Deficiency of vitamins, minerals, zinc and malnutrition.
  • Hormonal Conditions such as thyroid or estrogen imbalances.
  • Circulation problems
  • Diabetes where autonomic neuropathy leads to less sweating and thus less moisture

Note: in the elderly, callused or cracked heels may be a sign of increased pressure and can be a precursor to a bed sore. These cases should be assessed by a podiatrist before commencing any at home treatments

Podiatry Treatments

The quickest way to baby smooth heels is to visit your podiatrist who can safely remove the dead skin leaving you with healthy and flauntable feet. They can also provide you with information on what sort of creams are best for your skin type as well as rule out more serious reasons as to why your skin might be dry and cracking. In addition to cleaning the dead dry skin from your heels for you, your podiatrist may also be able to treat the underlying causes to your cracking as well as giving you the right advice on how to keep your heels in great condition.

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