How to Treat your Dry, Cracked Heels with Respect and Love this Summer!

Causes of Dry, Cracked Heels, University Foot and Ankle Institute

The older you get, the more likely you will suffer from dry, cracking heels.

Are your heels indistinguishable from a Google image search of Nevada’s Death Valley? Have scientists at NASA referenced pictures of your feet in a study of the topography of Mars? If you looked closely enough, could you almost make out a tiny Moses leading the Hebrews to the Promised Land?

If so, your heels are dry and cracked. The soles of healthy feet are typically thick, supple, and strong to protect you from the stresses of walking around on them all day, stepping on surfaces of uneven textures and temperatures. But when you’ve been less-than-diligent about keeping them healthy, your feet – particularly your heels – can dry out, looking ashy and cracked.

Cracked heels can hurt to walk on, and the skin can break and bleed more easily than healthy heels. Open wounds on your feet can lead to infection. Let’s face it – it’s not like your grubby, sweaty sneakers are doing your skin any favors.

What causes dry heels?

Cracked heels are the result of years of neglect and wear on the bottoms of your feet. The pressure and friction of your everyday activities causes dry skin to build up calluses on the feet, which eventually split, causing deep, visible cracks.

The older you get, the more likely you will suffer from dry, cracking heels. Dry heels are also likely to worsen in the summer time, so now is the perfect time to start paying closer attention to the condition of your feet.

Avoiding these things will help keep your heels healthy:

  • Harsh soaps. Choose a gel or moisturizing soap instead.
  • Hot, excessively long showers. Hot water is notorious for drying out your skin. Your feet often get the worst of it since they soak in the steaming, soapy water before it goes down the drain.
  • It’s alright to wear sandals once in a while – heck, it’s better than no shoes at all! But wearing them too frequently exposes your feet to the elements, causing them to dry out.

How to heal your heels

Exfoliate Your Feet, University Foot and Ankle Institute

Gently exfoliate the heel with a pumice stone.

Much like caring for your car or your home, a little routine maintenance goes a long way. Moisturize your feet daily, especially after showering and before putting on your socks and shoes. Try applying petroleum jelly to your feet before going to bed. Put a sock on to lock in the moisture while you’re sleeping.

Wear clean socks and shoes that fit every day. Ditch the fancy wool or synthetic materials. Cotton socks do the best job at absorbing moisture and allowing your skin to breathe.

You may gently exfoliate the skin with a pumice stone, but avoid scrubbing the area rigorously. You’re not sandpapering the kitchen cabinets, Ty Pennington. This can cause further damage to your dried heels.

Keeping your heels healthy and moisturized will help you keep comfortable and stay active. Absent of foot pain, your healthy heels can navigate a better walking pattern and can better sustain any foot treatments that you may need. Your feet and your podiatrist will thank you!

The UFAI Education Team

The UFAI Education Team

For almost fifteen years, University Foot and Ankle Institute and their nationally recognized physicians have been providing the most technologically advanced medical care for the foot and ankle with the highest success rates in the country.

As a teaching institution, University Foot and Ankle Institute’s Fellowship Program is among the most advanced in the nation.

We at UFAI are driven to get our patients back to their normal activities with the highest level of function, in the least amount of time, using the least invasive treatments possible. From start to finish, we are with you every step of the way.

The UFAI Education Team works to help empower our patients and website visitors with the most up-to-date information about foot and ankle conditions, treatment options, recovery and injury prevention. Our goal is to pass on truly useful information to our readers.

We hope you enjoy our work and find it of value. Please let us know!
The UFAI Education Team

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