Cracked heels

Cracked heels are a common foot problem that are often referred to as heel fissures. Cracked heels are commonly caused by dry skin (xerosis), and made more complicated if the skin around the rim of the heel is thick (callus). For most people this is a nuisance and a cosmetic problem but when the fissures or cracks are deep, they are painful to stand on and the skin can bleed – in severe cases this can become infected

Cracked heel symptoms

If the cracks are bad enough there will be pain on weight bearing, that is not there when weight is off the heel. The edges or rim around the heel will generally have a thicker area of skin (callus). Wearing open or thin soled shoes usually make the symptoms worse.

What causes heels to crack?

Some people tend to have a naturally dry skin that predisposes them to cracked heels. The thickened dry skin or callus around the heel is more likely to crack is often due to mechanical factors that increase pressures in that area (eg the way you walk).

Other factors that can be involved in the cause of cracked heels include:

  • prolonged standing
  • being overweight
  • open back on the shoes
  • some medical conditions predispose to a drying skin (eg. autonomic neuropathy , hypothyroidism)
  • skin conditions (eg psoriasis and eczema)

What can Mount Joy Foot Clinic & Orthotic Centre do for you?

  • Perform a physical exam and identify the source of problem and discuss treatment options.
  • Perform comprehensive manual debridement of thickened skin.
  • Recommend humectants or emollients to properly moisturize your skin.
  • Advice about self-care options.
  • Apply padding and strapping to help bring cracks together while they heal.
  • Assessment of you current footwear and/or orthotics and provide necessary adjustments.
  • Recommend footwear changes and prescribe custom-made foot orthotics as needed for long-term control and prevention to help prevent the problem from recurring
Contact Us