Cracked heels – or ‘heel fissures’ – are a common foot problem caused by dry skin. Mostly this is a cosmetic problem but in some cases these cracks can become very deep and painful on weight bearing. In very severe cases the cracks bleed and can become infected.
Some people have naturally dry skin and are predisposed to heel cracks but there are other factors which can contribute to the cause of cracked heels such as prolonged standing (particularly on hard floors), wearing open backed shoes and certain medical conditions such as diabetes.
Cracked Heel Treatment
The use of a pumice stone and oil-based moisturisers can help prevent and treat less severe cases of cracked heels but you should never try to cut away the hard skin yourself as this will lead to an increased risk of infection.
The Podiatrist will debride the hard skin around the edge of the heel and advise the patient of preventative measures and routines to follow at home. In severe recurring cases orthotics or a heel cup may be prescribed.