Cracked and flaky heels or “fissures” can affect nearly everybody including children and adults throughout all seasons, and often they can be quite painful, as well as aesthetically unpleasant.
Cracked or flaky heels are a symptom of very dry skin. Cracks can penetrate through the epidermis exposing the fragile dermis and hypodermis, the resultant break in the skin can be painful and increases risk of bacterial infection such as cellulitis. There is a range of preventative options available today to ensure you do not develop fissures, or that you minimise the risk of them developing, but which is best…
Here are our top 5 tips to prevent cracked heels:
1. Stay hydrated
To maintain optimal health, adequate water intake is essential. Dry skin can often be a sign of dehydration. Your daily water intake should at the minimum be 2 litres per day and increases depending on your usual day to day activities or exercise levels.
2. Moisturise regularly
Certain systemic medical conditions can affect hydration levels of the skin. Therefore using a specific urea based foot moisturiser; like ‘Walker’s Urea25 Heel Conditioner’ or ‘Scholl Eulactol Heel Balm', is very effective at adding moisture to the skin and increasing elasticity of callus therefore reducing the risk of fissures developing.
3. Use a pumice stone or emery board
Callus development is a natural skin response at sites of increased loading, friction, and shearing forces. Callused skin has low elasticity and is a common site for fissures to develop. Using a pumice stone/emery board to reduce the thickness of callus reduces your risk of fissures.
4. Medication check
Medications have varying positive and negative effects on the body, a possible side effect of your current medication, may include dryness of the skin. If you think this is the case, then have a talk with your Doctor or Pharmacist.
5. See a Podiatrist
The above 4 tips are helpful ways prevent to prevent fissuring but if a fissure is already present then you’ll need to see a Podiatrist. The specially trained Podiatrists at Simply Feet Podiatry will reduce the depth of the fissure and provide you with an individualised management plan to prevent any further cracks from developing.
If you have any questions, please call Simply Feet Podiatry on 03 437 9025 for further information or make an appointment online or via phonewith one of our expert Podiatrists.