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Why do I have cracked heels?

Definition of Cracked heels: Dry skin or heels, accompanied by thick skin, can be yellow or brown calloses around heel edge.

A common question being asked as a Podiatrist is ‘Why do I get cracked heels?’ and ‘How can I treat my cracked heels?’. The answer is not always simple as there are several factors that may contribute to cracked heels and wide range of things to consider to prevent these cracked heels.

Factors that may be contributing to your cracked heels and these include:

– Pressure: If you’re spending a lot of time standing on your heels throughout the day, this may be contributing to your cracked heels.

– Weight: Heavy weight increases pressure on the fat pad under the heel. The impact may cause it to expand and put pressure on our heels, ultimately leasing to cracked heels.

– Lack of moisture in our heels due to sweat glands: This can decrease with age

– Vitamin deficiency: May impact skin and heel health

– Footwear: Everyone loves a good pair of thongs in Summer, but this is one of the culprits of dry/cracked heels! Open-back sandals expose the skin and heel sideways which also increases further pressure on the heels. It’s important to see a Podiatrist and maintain a good regime with using a urea-based moisturiser.

– Genetics: Naturally dried skin or callouses may be inherited from family, a good skin care regime would need to be maintained.

– Diabetes: Long standing Diabetes may eventually start causing dryness in skin and feet, ultimately leading to cracked heels.

Treatment of cracked heels varies upon each individual’s case; some include:

  • Booking a consult with a Podiatrist for safe and sterile debridement of the calloused skin present
  • Reducing hard skin in between Podiatric appointments with a file
  • Adequate fitting footwear and wearing closed shoes when possible
  • Education on footwear
  • Emollient therapy daily

Tip: It’s important to look out for a keratolytic moisturiser including the ingredient Urea 15% or 25%. Urea is clinically proven in stimulating restoration of dry or cracked skin. It is renowned for it’s hydration, and is key in maintaining skin moisture and flexibility. 

Here at Talaria we stock Walker’s Urea 25 Heel Cream, which contains 25% urea!

Applying a cotton sock afterwards will help the cream sink into your heels better.

Book an appointment today!



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