Cracked heels can be an unattractive, painful and embarrassing condition suffered by many people. While having cracked heels may feel like an endless cycle, help is at hand. Most cases can be treated at home and do not require any kind of specialist medication or treatment. Here we explore the question, why do my heels crack?
What Are Cracked Heels?
With cracked heels, the name says it all. Having cracked heels simply means that the skin on your heels has cracked or split. This can vary in seriousness from a little unsightly extra skin to painful or bleeding cracks, which can sometimes lead to infections of the skin.
The skin of your heels tends to crack if it becomes too thick or if it doesn’t have enough moisture to retain its suppleness and elasticity. These problems can lead to the skin cracking from simple everyday activities such as walking or running, or a change in circumstances like pregnancy or weight gain.
Why Do I Have Cracked Heels?
Dry feet and cracked heels can occur for a variety of reasons. These may include some of the following:
- Dry, unmoisturised skin or dehydration.
- Walking barefoot or wearing open shoes such as sandals or flip-flops.
- Wearing shoes that don’t offer proper support to your feet or that don’t fit properly.
- Increased pressure on the heel through standing for long periods of time or weight gain.
- The weather - dry summers or cold winters might increase susceptibility to dry skin.
What Can I Do About My Cracked Heels?
At Simply Feet we have a variety of treatments that can help to resolve cracked heels. The best treatment for cracked heels is often to gently reduce the thickness of the skin on your heels and then moisturise to help your heels recover from their cracking. Check out our selection of foot files, moisturising foot creams and moisturising socks for all of the support you need to get your heels back in great shape and feeling smooth.
1. Foot Files
Foot files and pumice stones are a gentle way to remove dead skin from your feet, reducing the effects of cracked heels and allowing you to moisturise and care for the live skin below.
2. Foot Creams
Hydrating foot creams work to moisturise and add nourishment to the skin of your feet and heels. Foot creams should be applied after exfoliating your heels with a pumice or file to remove excess skin.
3. Moisturising Socks
Moisturising gel socks are made with a gel lining which hydrates your skin by releasing nourishing hydrators. Moisturising socks can be worn overnight: simply put them on immediately after applying a foot moisturiser to maximise skin hydration.
When Should I See a Podiatrist?
Cracked heels are generally a standalone condition which can be treated at home. However, they can sometimes be a symptom of underlying health conditions such as fungal infections, hormone imbalances, vitamin deficiencies or circulation problems. If you have concerns about your health, or if you think that your cracked heels may be the result of an underlying health condition, we recommend that you seek the help of a medical professional.
If you’re suffering from cracked heels, don’t suffer in silence. Seek help.