Dry, Cracked Heels

Our feet are the mirrors of our body; they reflect our health and show signs of systemic conditions such as diabetes, arthritis and circulatory disease. Amongst these signs are dry, cracked skin, especially on the heels of the feet. Dry, cracked heels are not only unsightly, but are also a source of pain and embarrassment. The skin of the heel dries out and thickens (into a callus), and eventually breaks open under pressure, causing deep cracks or even fissures to form, and making everyday activities such as walking or running very difficult and uncomfortable. This dehydration of the heels can cause further problems to develop, such as bleeding, inflammation, fungal or other infections or ulcerations. There are many contributing factors to the development of dry, cracked heels:

  • arid winter weather and air
  • aging
  • psoriasis or other skin-related conditions
  • diabetes
  • kidney disease
  • thyroid disease
  • vitamin and mineral deficiency
  • excess weight
  • pressure from prolonged standing, especially in ill-fitting shoes
  • poorly structured feet leading to abnormal gait
  • excess water use from bathing or showering

Skin loses its ability to stretch with age, so cracked heels can be commonplace as you get older. Diabetes and other diseases or disorders can interrupt the bodies ability to produce oils, making the skin less supple and more susceptible to extreme dryness. Water can also rob the skin of its natural oils leaving it dry and rough, and vitamin and mineral deficiency due to poor diet can lead to the breakdown of skin as well.

At Active Foot Care Clinic and Orthotic Centre's Brantford and Hamilton locations, we can treat the source of your dry, cracked heels by providing you:

  • adequate supportive shoes
  • prescription foot cream specially formulated for dry, cracked skin (containing keratolytic and humectant agents with urea, salicylic acid, alpha-hydroxy acids, saccharide isomerate, and/or petroleum jelly)
  • soothing foot soaks
  • custom orthotics to redistribute pressure abnormalities on the heel
  • in certain cases, removal of callus tissue on the heel may help the healing process

Don’t allow dry, cracked heels to slow you down. Contact the chiropodist/foot care specialist at Active Foot Care Clinic and Orthotic Centre to help you make your foot or ankle problems a thing of the past!