What to do about cracked heels?

Cracked heels develop when the dried skin of the heels split. While it is often the hard, thicker callused outer skin layer (epidermis) that cracks, it can also occur to softer, non-callused (and often dry) skin that is repetitively placed under high pressure when walking. If heel cracks are not, they can progress into fissures, which split the skin at a deeper level and can be very painful.

Dry skin is the reason most people assume they have cracking heels, but there are other factors involved as well such as increased weight, diabetes, neuropathy, poor circulation and poor nutrition can also cause poor foot health.

Symptoms of heel cracks and fissures vary from none to mild to severe. The most apparent sign is the actual cracks in the epidermis of the heels. Other symptoms may include:

Dry, itchy heels
Hard skin on the heels
Pain when standing or walking
Bleeding or infection

With proper treatment, cracked heels should not evolve into the more serious fissures. Moisturizing with cream applied to the feet two times a day will help the cracks in most cases. If the outer skin layer is thick, it will need to be reduced by a Podiatrist.

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