What are cracked heels?

Cracked heels, also known as heel fissures, are a common foot problem resulting in dry and cracked skin around the heels. Quite often there will also be thick callus surrounding the heels. Cracked heels or heel fissures are often painful and if deep can be a source of infection so podiatry treatment is essential. This is especially important for those patients more prone to infections such as diabetics.

Signs & Symptoms:

  • A thick or rough area of skin (callus) around the margins of the heels with cracks
  • Dry skin around the heel with small cracks or splits
  • Deep painful cracks around margins of the heel
  • Bleeding around the heels
  • Redness, swelling or signs of infection around the heel

Causes for cracked heels

There are numerous causes for heel fissures (cracks) developing on the feet. Some common causes include hormonal changes, infection, medication or dry skin. They can also develop due to wearing shoes that are made from rubber or canvas as that material further absorbs moisture from the skin. Biomechanical factors can also contribute to development of cracked heels, this include excess weight or excess force applied to the heel.

Treatment for cracked heels

Our podiatrists are experts in managing cracked heels. Treatment involves removing the hard layer of skin (callus) using sterile instruments and then removing the cracks. The skin can then be quite fragile, our podiatrists manage this by applying special dressings that aid in the healing of the skin an hydration of the skin.

Managing cracked heels

Our podiatrists have a wealth of knowledge in the area of creams and can advise you on the best emollient for your foot care needs. They are also able to advise on footwear that will help protect your feet.