During the spring and summer months the skin around the heels can become dehydrated, hard and flaky due to sandal wear.
Heel fissures, also known as cracked heels, can be a cosmetic problem but can also be painful, bleed and lead to serious medical problems if infection enters the broken skin.
Heel fissures can affect anyone, but risk factors include: living in a dry climate, being overweight, walking barefoot or wearing sandals or open-backed shoes. Diabetes, poor circulation and inactive sweat glands can also be predisposing factors, it is essential in these cases to have podiatric care to prevent further problems.
Treatment and Prevention
Filing the heels using a foot file ( NOT a harse 'cheese grater type file) before a shower or bath can help to decrease the thick and flaky layer of skin, daily application of a suitable heel balm or foot moisturiser will help prevent dehydration and keep the skin supple and elastic. Avoid going barefoot or wearing open-backed shoes, sandals or shoes with thin soles. Shoes with good heel shock absorption can help to improve the condition.
If you are unable to resolve the condition then a visit to your podiatrist can help manage the problem, prevent complications and help the skin around the heels look much healthier!