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Family Foot & Ankle

How to Prevent Heel Fissures

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If the bottoms of your heels are beginning to look a little like a series of winding canyons, or maybe the surface of some distant moon, you’re not alone. Many people suffer from heel fissures, also known as cracked heels. Sometimes the problem is merely cosmetic, but deeper cracks can bleed and provide an opening for infections.

Unfortunately, some people seem to naturally be more prone to developing dry skin cracks than others. However, anyone can take steps to prevent them from forming in the first place, or at least keep them from happening as frequently or from being as severe. Some of these steps include:

  • Minimize walking barefoot or in open-backed shoes. Going barefoot allows the fatty pad on the heel to expand farther sideways with each step, increasing pressure—and therefore, the likelihood of a crack.
  • Try to avoid prolonged standing if possible, especially on hard floors. If you have a job or hobby that requires you to stand for long periods, try to take regular, brief breaks.
  • The heavier you are, the more pressure you put on your heels. If you’re overweight, losing a few pounds will help prevent frequent fissure formation.
  • Regularly apply alcohol-free moisturizing cream once or twice a day to help lock in moisture and prevent cracking. Apply after a shower or before bed, and put on a clean pair of socks afterwards for the best results.
  • You may have a skin condition, such as psoriasis or eczema, which leads to dry, flakey skin conditions and will need to be treated.
     

The experts at Family Foot & Ankle Center have experience treating a wide variety of foot skin conditions, and can help you recover from a bad case of cracked heels. Even better, we have six offices in and around Cincinnati (in both Ohio and Kentucky) to serve you best. To schedule an appointment, please give us a call at 888-689-3317.

Dr. Cynthia Miller
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Dr. Cynthia Miller is a board certified podiatrist who has been established in the Cincinnati area since 2004.
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