Cracked heels

Cracked heels

Chris Schach

Author Bio -

Key Points
*Common foot problem caused by dry skin
* Mostly cosmetic in nature
* Severe cracked heels can cause bleeding or infection

Cracked heels, otherwise known as heel fissures, are a common problem. They are caused by dry skin, which can be complicated if the heel is callused. Although cracked heels are mostly a cosmetic problem, they can be irritating; when the cracks are deep, they can often bleed and lead to infection. Those calluses can form in response to irritation or friction. Cracked heels may form on only one side of the foot or wrap around the entire heel.

Cracked heels can be caused by simple dry skin, walking barefoot or in sandals, an inability to sweat in the foot area, or obesity. Eczema or Psoriasis can be a contributing factor, as can the use of hot water. High-arched feet or wearing shoes with an open back can also cause cracked heels.

Diagnosis
Diagnosis can be done by sight. If the fissures are severe, a medical professional should be consulted.

Differential diagnosis

*Psoriasis
*Tinea pedis (athletes foot)

Treatment
* Podiatric care
* Removal of callused skin
* Home remedies

For simple cracked heels, home remedies are the ideal method for dealing with the problem. You can soak your feet, apply a deep moisturizer, wear a  moisture barrier sock overnight, and buy good footwear with absorbing soles.   Avoid going barefoot or wearing sandals.  You can also use a pumice stone daily to reduce the dry skin buid-up.

If cracked heels are more severe or begin to bleed, a medical professional may remove the callused skin by debriding. It is not recommended that you attempt to remove the hard skin on your own, especially not with a razor blade. A doctor may also resort to strapping — or holding the cracked areas together while they heal (a painful process). A doctor can also advise on the appropriate moisturizers to deal with heel fissures, as well as the correct footwear.

OTC Option:  Try using 20% Urea cream twice a day(Aquaphor, vaseline jelly, and Neutrogena hand cream are also good options).  Apply  urea cream, put on cotton socks and wear overnight for best results.  Using a pumice stone or Skin Egg can help exfoliate the thick skin.  For painful fissures on hands and feet, push skin of crack together and carefully apply super glue to surface only.  Then, allow to dry.  This can provide temporary relief of pain.

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