Sports Focus Podiatry
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Cracked Heels

Most of us at some point have suffered from cracked heels. For most this is just a cosmetic issue but in some cases the cracks become deep enough to bleed and are painful to stand on. In severe cases, the break in the skin can open it up to infection. The main causes of cracked skin include:

  • Excessive dry skin around the heel which is made worse when the skin is thick and callused.
  • Standing for long periods particularly on hard floors.
  • Shoes that don’t have a back to them – this allows the fat under the heel to expand sideways.
  • Excess weight increases the pressure on the normal fat pad under the heel causing it to expand sideways and crack.
  • Some medical conditions predispose the person to dry skin such as patients with diabetes who sweat less.

Alleviating the problems associated with cracked heels include applying oil based moisturizing cream twice daily. Thick skin can be thinned down with exfoliates or rubbing with a pumice stone. If the problem becomes painful never try to shave the thick skin yourself with a razor! - you may take too much skin off or open the wound up to infection. See your podiatrist who will correctly remove the right amount of skin.

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