Cracked heels can be caused by simple dry skin, walking barefoot or in sandals, an inability to sweat in the foot area, or obesity. If cracked heels are more severe or begin to bleed, a medical professional may remove the callused skin by debriding.
When we walk or stand, our body weight is carried first on the heel and then on the ball of the foot, where the skin is thicker, to withstand the pressure. Cracked heels or heel fissures are caused by a build up of dry skin (xerosis) on the outer rim of the heel. If the problem persists and becomes severe, we can encourage the cracks to heal by debriding the area to remove the hardened skin.
Selecting shoes which do not force the toes against the front of the toe box with a low heel is essential. Sever's Disease - this occurs in children and young teenagers and is related to overuse of the bones and tendons in the heel.
Around 70% of patients with plantar fasciitis also have a Heel Spur which is visible on X Ray.

High heeled shoes - wearing high heels for long periods puts extra stress on this part of the foot.
Wearing high heeled, tight or ill fitting shoes with a narrow toe box which place pressure on the toes.
It can lead to intense itching, cracked, blistered or peeling areas of skin, redness and scaling. These are provided as creams, ointments, lotions, powders, and liquid or dry powder sprays, and are applied directly onto the infected area(s).
A heel spur is a hook of bone protruding from the base of the foot at the point where the plantar fascia is attached to the heel bone.
Although cracked heels are mostly a cosmetic problem, they can be irritating; when the cracks are deep, they can often bleed and lead to infection. A doctor may also resort to strapping — or holding the cracked areas together while they heal (a painful process). It can occur on moist, waterlogged skin especially between the fourth and fifth toes, or on dry, flaky skin around the heels or elsewhere on the foot.

In most cases it is a cosmetic nuisance but if the cracks or fissures deepen, they may bleed and it can become painful to stand.
Heel lifts, heel pads or wedges to cushion the heel inside the shoe, or orthotics may also be prescribed.
The arch tendon or Plantar Fascia is a thick band of tissue which runs from the heel to the front of the foot, just behind the toes. A corticosteriod injection may be administered to reduce inflammation and advice on appropriate low heeled footwear with a wide toebox will be given. A doctor can also advise on the appropriate moisturizers to deal with heel fissures, as well as the correct footwear. The pain is associated with the degeneration of the collagen fibres close to the heel bone (calcaneus).

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Category: Superfeet

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