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What are Heel Fissures?

Heel fissures, also known as cracked heels, are a common foot condition in which the skin on the outer edges of the heel becomes flaky, hard and forms deep cracks that can become painful and bleed. Heel fissures mainly occur due to the drying of the skin (xerosis).

Causes of Heel Fissures

Heel fissures can affect any individual and the most common causes include:

  • Dry climate
  • Walking barefoot
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Reduced sweat gland secretions
  • Diabetes
  • Dehydration
  • Psoriasis
  • Fungal infection in the foot
  • Thyroid infection resulting in hypothyroidism

Symptoms of Heel Fissure

The most common symptoms include:

  • Deep wounds in the heels
  • Skin irritation
  • Soreness under the foot
  • Bleeding of the heal wounds
  • Dry, flaky skin
  • Heel pain

Diagnosis of Heel Fissure

Diagnosis can be made by physical examination of the heel.

Treatment for Heel Fissure

Treatment for heel fissures includes:

  • Moisturizing your feet once or twice daily with moisturizing cream
  • Using a pumice stone to remove the callouses and thickened skin
  • Wearing suitably cushioned footwear and avoiding shoes with thin soles, sandals, or open-backed shoes
  • Keeping yourself well hydrated in a dry climate
  • Your doctor will instruct you on specific medications for healing of the deep fissures
  • Maintaining good foot hygiene
Ankle & Foot Centers of Western New York
Ankle & Foot Centers of Western New York

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