Winter weather can cause more than just static in the air and dry hands, many podiatry patients may notice that their skin of their heels has become dried and cracked. This often causes pain and irritation. The medical term for this cracked skin is heel fissures.
Fissured heels happen when dry skin around the heel splits from the weight of walking or standing. Some people experience dry cracked heels because of naturally dry skin or other systemic diseases often associated with this condition. This can range from nutrient disorders, diabetes or skin diseases such as eczema. As a person ages, their skin loses elasticity and becomes more prone to drying out.
If the fissuring is severe, treatment is indicated. Understanding the systemic conditions causing the major skin issue is the first step. Secondly, removal of the thick skin utilizing a pumice stone or other mildly abrasive device to exfoliate the skin area is often used. Special creams to help moisturize the area can also be used. Offloading the area with taping or inserts may be needed to help support the foot and heel to control the pressure on the skin.
If you have developed painful fissuring of your heels, do not hesitate to call us at Worthington Foot & Ankle.