This is when the skin around the borders of the heels becomes dry, scaly and cracked, often breaking apart causing deeper fissures which can then be very sore and can sometimes bleed.
The skin around the heel borders tends to be thicker anyway and if the skin becomes too dry and lacking in moisture then the top layers become weaker and lose their elasticity causing the skin to split and crack. This can be caused by a number of possible factors such as:
- Wearing shoes with open backs that expose the heels allowing the skin to dry out
- Shoes that put pressure on and rub the edges of the heels
- Skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema
- Being overweight
- Diabetes which can cause dry skin
- Increasing age – skin naturally loses moisture as we get older
- Fungal skin infections, which causes drying of the skin and can affect the heels
This may include careful removal of any excessive build-up of skin especially around the edges of any fissures which will help the skin close together and heal up quickly, the Podiatrist will advise on the application of any special creams or balms that contain moisturisers for heels and how regularly to use them, your feet will also be checked for any sign of fungal infections and the Podiatrists will also give advice regarding your footwear needs.