Cracked Heels during Winter

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Tagged:  hidenews

 It’s that time of year again in Gaston County. Even the stragglers are turning on their heat in their houses. Just the other day I was reaching for my chapstick – thinking – It’s too soon! I’m not ready for winter!

A very common ailment that we hear in the office of Gaston Foot & Ankle Specialists is dry cracked heels. But how does it happen? Why? Here are some common factors:

1. You may be suffering from eczema or psoriasis (dry skin conditions)
2. You may be overweight 
3. You may have diabetes (autonomic neuropathy leading to less sweating) or a less active thyroid (lowers the body’s metabolic rate which decreases sweating)
4. You might be standing long periods of time on hard surfaces
5. You may wear open heeled shoes, like sandals, that don’t allow proper foot protection

Most people find cracked heels to be a cosmetic problem, but when the cracks begin to deepen – many complain of pain and bleeding.  

What you shouldn’t do:

 Don’t cut the skin with scissors or a blade.  Cutting too much skin can lead to complications and a potential infection – leave it to the podiatrists at Gaston Foot & Ankle Specialists to remedy the cracked heels.

What you should do: 

Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!
Our podiatrists recommend moisturizing at least twice a day. Try applying moisturizer before going to sleep and putting on cotton socks to keep the moisture in.
Drink plenty of water
Hydration is key to keeping not only your heels from cracking but also your skin (elbows, lips, legs) from chapping or flaking. Once the central heat kicks on in your home, you are subjecting your skin to drying out.
Use a pumice stone
For mild dry skin on the heel, where a callous has formed and has the potential to crack, try using a pumice stone to cautiously remove the dead/dry skin. Make sure that the pumice stone is clean before using. If there are deep fissures or cracks, consult your podiatrist before.
For the winter months, Gaston Foot & Ankle has Idonia Cream on special – buy one get one free – it is the most ideal moisturizer for cracked heels.
Wear shoes in the house
I know it sounds like a bummer but when your feet are dry and calloused; your skin lacks the elasticity to stretch while you are walking or standing.  Walking around the house barefoot or sockfoot isn’t going to cut it. Invest in a decent pair of house shoes that support your heels and have them the dedicated house shoes. 

If you are suffering from cracked heels, please do not hesitate to call us at 704-861-0425.

Gaston Foot & Ankle Specialists

251 Wilmot Drive
Gastonia, NC 28054