As winter weather sets in, it can bring with it a myriad of unpleasant symptoms, one of which being cracked heels. Colder temperatures often lead to dry, parched skin that can be uncomfortable and unsightly. Your heels are especially susceptible to cracks, especially if you have other underlying conditions like diabetes.
What causes heels to crack?
- Cold, dry climates
- Standing for extended periods of time
- Increased weight, either through obesity or a temporary gain such as through pregnancy
- Poor circulation
- Walking barefoot everywhere or wearing only open-backed shoes
- Skin conditions like fungal infections or psoriasis
- An unhealthy diet deficient in the proper minerals and vitamins
How can I relieve these symptoms of cracked heels?
Typically, a home remedy can improve minor cracked heels, but if you’re experiencing severe or recurring conditions, or if you have diabetes, you should consult with your foot care specialist for the best treatment options. If you are experiencing cracked heels this winter, try these tips:
- Moisturize your heels with a thick ointment or an oil-based balm twice daily
- Rub the thickened areas on your heel with a pumice stone
- Stay hydrated and make sure you’re eating a healthy diet
- Increase your intake of essential fatty acids
- Protect your feet with socks
Cracked heels left untouched can quickly become infected and painful. If you notice your heels bleeding or if they’re not healing after trying some home remedies, it’s time to call in the professionals. A podiatrist can help you recover more quickly, and can check for any underlying issues. Podiatrists can help by removing excess skin that might be contributing to your heels cracking, and can suggest proper topical creams that will help keep your skin moist and crack-free!
If you are dealing with recurring or painful cracked heels, it’s time to call us. Our team of foot doctors here at Connecticut Foot Care Centers is equipped with a wealth of knowledge and resources in caring for your heels or any foot or ankle issue. Our doctors stay up to date with the newest diagnostic and treatment techniques and technologies! Our friendly and knowledgeable staff has unparalleled experience and can help you at any of our six conveniently located Connecticut offices. Request an appointment today!