Cracked heels usually don’t cause serious issues. Very rarely, cracked heels can get infected severely and cause a skin infection called cellulitis. You can take steps to treat cracked heels or go to a reliable skin specialist for it no matter whatever the cause of your cracked heels may be. However, there are also some preventions to keep your heels from cracking in the first place.
What Causes Cracked Heels?
When the skin around your heels becomes thick and dry, you experience cracked heels. Extra pressure on the fat pad of your heels can cause the skin to become thick and dry, forming cracks or heel fissures. However, if someone develops this condition, they should take some precautions like
- Taking showers or hot baths
- Avoiding harsh soaps
- Not having cold, dry skin
- Preventing from dry, cold weather
- By avoiding standing for extended periods
- Trying to wear open-heeled footwear such as sandals, and many more.
When Should You See a Skin Specialist About Cracked Heels?
You should visit a dermatologist if your heels are severely cracked or don’t improve even after a week’s treatment. Some skin specialists who treat the feet, ankle, and lower leg conditions and are also known as podiatrists. You may need treatment from them. The commonly given treatments like:
In this process, bandages or dressings are used around the heel. They keep your skin from moving around.
During this process, a professional skin specialist cut away the hard, thick skin on your heels. But you should not try it by yourself because you may cut the skin deeply. That can usually lead to infection.
- Prescription medicines
Your dermatologist may suggest a stronger cream than you can buy over-the-counter for your problem. These creams mostly have a higher percentage of active ingredients like urea or salicylic acid.
- Skin glue
Your skin specialist may use glue which is specially designed for use on skin. It helps in holding the edges of the heel fissures together. That allows the cracks to heal.
- Shoe inserts
Insoles in your shoes help in the redistribution of weight on your heel. That helps prevent the fat pad from expanding sideways and cracking your heels.
How to Prevent Cracked Heels and Other Foot Problems?
- Check your feet daily
Daily checking of your feet will help you prevent many skin problems before they become serious. That is very important for diabetic patients. You should look for
- Ingrown toe nails
- Plantar warts
- Corns or calluses
- Warm spots
- Athlete’s foot, and many more.
- Wash your feet every day
Use warm water to wash your feet every day.
Dry them thoroughly, especially the areas between your toes, because the skin there tends to stay wet.
Apply cornstarch or talcum powder between your toes.
By following these steps, your skin will keep dry. Also, it helps prevent skin infection and your visit to a skin specialist.
- Trim your toenails
Trim the toenails straight across if your toenails need to be cut.
File them gently with the help of an emery board.
That prevents you from ingrown toenails.
- Wear supportive footwear
Use clean, lightly padded socks that fit well on your feet.
Always wear shoes that give support and fit into your feet.
Since feet tend to swell as the day goes on, always try to shop for shoes at the end of the day.
That usually gives you the perfect match for your feet.
- Protect your feet from temperature extremes
Prevent your feet from hot pavements
You should wear shoes at the beach.
To protect exposed areas of your feet, use sunscreen.
Wear socks while being in bed if your feet get cold at night.
Wear lined waterproof boots to keep your feet warm and dry during the winter season.