Cracked heels are a common foot problem that is often referred to as heel fissures. They are commonly caused by dry skin, it made more complicated if the skin around the heel is calloused (thickened skin). For most people this is a nuisance and an asthetic/cosmetic problem but neglect can cause the fissures to deepen and become painful to stand on and can bleed - in severe cases they can become infected.
Your podiatrist will carry out a thorough foot examination and may ask you about your medical history, lifestyle, footwear, hobbies and a description of the presenting problem to obtain an accurate diagnosis.
Initial treatment usually involves debridement of the hard-thickened skin around the fissures. (this should not be attempted at home using scissors or razor blade as there is a risk of removing too much skin and infection occurring). In-depth footwear advice, and advice on the use of topical emollients and moisturizers.
Insoles, heel pad or heel cups can redistribute the plantar pressures on the heel and provide better support, therefore reducing the build-up of hard skin.
If left untreated
If left untreated, the cracks can become deep and start to bleed, or m If left untreated, the cracks can become deep and start to bleed, or may become infected. This is especially dangerous for individuals with weakened immune systems.
For more medical information click here.