3 Ways To Prevent And Treat Cracked Heels
Cracked heels can be an occasional nuisance problem or an ongoing source of chronic foot pain. With routine care, you can regain control over your cracked heels and stop the pain.
1. Soak Your Feet
Dedicate some time at least weekly to thoroughly soak your feet. Use a gentle soap, especially if you have deep cracks since some soaps might sting. Soaking your feet will soften the hardened skin and make it easier to remove without causing more irritation. If you use a tool on your feet, use a pumice stone once the skin is soft and do not use metal files. The gentlest way to remove the softened skin will be to rub it away with a washcloth. You may want to repeat the process of soaking and rubbing away the skin several times in one session to remove the dead skin.
You should moisturize your feet at least daily. After you wash your feet, use a thick cream all over your feet, except for between the toes, and pay special attention to your heels. Try to find a cream that is water-based, but also contains oils or butters to help seal in the moisture. Wearing cotton socks immediately after moisturizing will also help the product soak into your skin. Socks also reduce friction that occurs between your feet and shoes, which can also rob your feet of moisture and cause cracking. You should consider using a different moisturizer at night before bed. A urea-based moisturizer is excellent for softening dead skin. Some people will apply the urea-based cream and wrap their feet in plastic before putting on socks.
3. Have Professional Treatments
If home care is not effective, and you frequently deal with deep cracks that bleed, you likely need a podiatrist to help. Typically, the doctor will use a blade to shave away the thick, hardened skin on your feet. It is important to remove the hardened skin along the edges of any cracks. Hardened skin is not healthy skin and will not heal, so your doctor needs to shave enough of the hard skin away to reveal healthy skin that can eventually heal. Your doctor will give you recommendations and prescription treatments that might be more effective at keeping your heels soft and preventing the problem from returning. Wearing heel cushions can sometimes reduce the pressure on your heels that might also contribute to cracks.
In severe cases, heel cracks can be deep and a source of chronic pain. Finding a regimen to keep the skin soft will minimize the likelihood of cracks developing. To learn more, contact your local podiatrists today.