Winter Feet

If you are anything like me, with winter just around the corner you are dreading the static infused hair and dry scaly skin. A lot of us are also up against dry callused feet that often lead to dry cracked heels. For most people those dry cracked heels are not only unsightly and embarrassing, but are a major source of pain. I’m here with the good news – most minor cracked heels are easily treated. The soft supple feet are easily achievable with some at home remedies,  but for the best results a Podologist can help remove the dead skin from your feet in as little as half an hour, leaving your feet feeling soft, smooth and moisturized for longer.

It’s important to also understand the root of cracked heels and what is causing the splitting of the skin. There are several reasons why this could be occurring, first it could just be due to dryness or callus (thickening of the skin) that over time cracks due to pressure in the area. The reason behind the cracking is that when our heels become dry and the skin thickens it also loses its elasticity and suppleness. These minor cracks can lead to deep painful fissures just from walking and can sometimes cause bleeding cracked heels.

Some of the Causes of Cracked Heels:

  • Improper footwear or walking in bare feet
  • Heavy pressure on the heels when walking and standing for long period of time(especially on hard flooring)
  • Unhealthy, dry, scaly skin can cause a fungal infection or tinea pedis
  • Circulation issues, hormonal conditions, vitamin deficiency, and diet

Cracked heels are not always a condition caused by wearing ill-fitting shoes, it can be due to genetics. Our skin type is often genetic and some people may experience thick callused heels that never crack, and some have callused heels that crack after a long day of walking. Other medical conditions that can cause cracked heels are; diabetes, venous stasis dermatitis, or dermatitis caused by tinea pedis or athletes foot.

Visiting a Podologist is usually the quickest way to soft, smooth heels. A treatment for dry callused heels typically involves a Podologist safely removing the dead skin – this sounds frightening to a lot of people especially those who have experienced the nightmare pedicure that left them essentially immobile, but as a Podologist I am specifically trained to remove a healthy amount of the hard callused skin. A Podologist can also provide you with information on treatments you could do at home, suggest proper medicated creams best for your skin type and health history, cleaning the dead skin to help the healing process, and treat the underlying cause to your cracked heels.

About the author ...

Michele Sinclair, Certified Pedorthist, is a member of the Pedorthic Association of Canada as well as The College of Pedorthics of Canada. She graduated from George Brown College from the Prosthetic and Orthotic Technician Program with Honors. Through the years Michele has obtained experience performing biomechanical gait analysis, casting using plaster, biofoam, wax and CAD Technology systems.