Some of the contributing factors for cracking or splitting are:
- Being overweight)\
- Standing for extended periods of time (particularly on hard floors)
- Wearing sandals and other open-back shoes (they offer no support for the heel to keep the fat pad under your foot in place)
- Playing sports that require long periods of standing and running (e.g., basketball)
How To Treat Cracked Heels
It is preferable to prevent and treat dry skin to avoid cracked heels. There are numerous emollients on the market that can help you to both prevent and treat dry skin and cracked heels. Using moisturizers every can offer hydration and prevent your skin from drying out. The most effective formulations have water-retaining (humectant) and keratolytic properties, such as urea, salicylic acid, or alpha hydroxy acid.
You may also try doing foot soaks. Placing your feet in lukewarm or soapy water for 20 minutes and gently scrubbing them with a loofah can help remove dead skin.
There are also some instances wherein you may need to consult a medical professional if there are no improvements observed within a week. Your dermatologist may recommend any of the following treatments:
- Debridement. This kind of treatment refers to the removal of tough, thick skin. You should not try to do this at home as it can worsen the situation.
- Strapping. This entails wrapping a bandage or dressing around the heel to prevent skin movement.
- Prescription of stronger softening or debriding agents. Your doctor can also follow through with a medical prescription through topical treatments containing urea or salicylic acid.
- Use of insoles, heel pads, or cups. This form of treatment helps redistribute the weight of the heel to better provide support. This prevents the fat pad from expanding sideways.
- Use of special tissue glue. Some doctors may also consider using glue to hold the cracked skin’s edges together for it to heal.
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