Ultimate Guide to Treating Cracked Heels – Effective Home Remedies & Expert Advice | Dynamic Podiatry

No One Wants Cracked Heels!

They’re the gift that none of us wanted (and yes, I am definitely included in the cracked heels club).

Not only are they unsightly but they can also cause pain and infection.

But living in Brisbane in the summer months means a lot of time out of shoes.

Thongs, sandals or bare feet provide the environment for cracked feet – a combination of drying the skin, and not having support from a shoe helps the cracks to open up.

So what can we do about them? That’s what I’m here to talk about.

Here I’m going to explain the extreme treatment needed by people with thick cracks on both feet.

Cracks that they’ve tried almost everything to fix without any success.

Warning: these tips are not recommended if you have diabetes, peripheral vascular disease or heart disease or are prone to skin infections.

The Science Behind Cracked Heels.
Why do Heels Crack?

Callous Doesn't Stretch

The skin on our heels needs to be able to stretch well as our body weight is loaded onto the heel.

Contained under the skin is a fat-pad which is part of the cushioning system when our heels hit the ground during running, walking, or jumping.

Heels tend to crack when callous becomes too thick for the skin to be able to stretch.

 

What Causes the Callous in The First Place?

Callous formation is a protective mechanism of the skin.

When it is under too much load from repeated forces the skin lays down extra keratin which we see in the form of callous because it is tougher than normal skin.

Extra stress is placed on the skin from either pressure, friction or shearing or a combination.

A lack of hydration (moisture) also has a massive impact on the development of callous as well.

 

Treating Cracked Heels at Home.

The biggest factor in preventing cracked heels is keeping them moist.

This is why in Australia winter is the time when cracked heels are most prevalent, due to the dryness of the weather.

So the number one thing you can do to prevent cracked heels becoming a problem in the first place is to moisturise often. 

Once a day may be enough for most people, but some will need to apply moisturiser twice daily. 

Just be careful that you are not at risk of slipping and falling after applying the moisturiser.

Best to do it just before slipping on some socks and shoes.

The following are the most effective ways to treat cracked heels at home:

  • At least once a day, use a moisturiser on your heels when they are clean and dry, preferably one with Urea in it.
  • Use a pumice stone to reduce hard skin build-up on your heels
  • Wear appropriate footwear (shoes AND socks).

Some Great Products for Cracked Heels

Most products that work really well in reducing the amount of callous on your heels, and therefore reduce the cracking, contain a decent amount of Urea.

Synthetic Urea (thank goodness right?) dissolves the intercellular matrix of the cells which make up the outer hard layers of the skin. This causes the skin to slough off, leaving a softer layer.

 

Here are some of the better products we recommend for callous and fissure (crack) removal:

Walkers 25% Urea cream – non greasy but strong remover of callous and cracks, available at Dynamic Podiatry in 500ml for $24.95

Scholl’s Eulactol Gold – Also 25% and non greasy, comes in 120ml $16.95
Dermal Dia Balm 25% – 4 x 75gm tubes for $41.85
Duit Foot & Heel Balm 25% – ONLINE – 50gm for 11.95

Walkers Urea 25% is available at Dynamic Podiatry

Important Note: Please check all ingredients of these products before using. If you have allergies, check with your doctor to see if these products are safe for you.

Intense Cracked Heels Treatment - with a warning

I have to give a strong warning here, this is a great treatment for healthy young people who tend to get heel cracks from wearing thongs or going barefoot.

Do Not Use This Treatment If

If you have reduced blood flow to your feet from peripheral vascular disease or any other condition,
If you have diabetes,
If you have reduced sensation in your feet from any cause,
If you are immunocompromised,
If you have infections anywhere in your feet,
With that out of the way I can explain the treatment.

It’s called a “wet wrap” and basically you apply the urea cream before going to bed and then wrap your heels in cling wrap.

It is important to check in the morning if it has not caused any wounds.

If you feel like you need a second night of treatment make sure you thoroughly check your feet before doing so.

This is a really effective treatment and as long as you don’t fit into any of the groups mentioned above, then give it a go!

Effective Professional Treatment for Cracked Heels.

Sometimes it doesn’t matter how much pumice stone work you do or how much mosituriser you apply. The callous just becomes too thick for you to win the battle.

If self-treatment at home isn’t getting on top of your cracked heels, then visiting a podiatrist is the next recommended course of action.

 

Podiatrists have the necessary equipment and clinical knowledge to safely remove any thick and hardened skin, which will help existing cracks to heal and allow any moisturiser to be absorbed more easily.

We use sharp debridement (scalpel) to remove thick areas of callous and high speed diamond sanders with dust extraction to smooth your heels.

At Dynamic Podiatry we also have a specific moisturiser available (Urea 15), which is proven to be most effective in treating dry skin around the heels, and may be recommended over other standard moisturisers. 

We're Here To Help Free You of Cracked Heels

If you are looking for help with cracked heels our podiatrists at Dynamic Podiatry can help in treating cracked heels and will ensure that you receive the best advice to manage your them long term.

Call 3351 8878 or click on the Book Your Appointment button below.

The Dynamic Podiatry logo orange and navy with a foot in the "D"