Dry Skin and Cracked Heels
Dry, cracked, flaky, painful skin on feet can be a real problem! We don’t just mean aesthetically or cosmetically, either. Sure, dry and cracked skin can be a source of embarrassment or loss of confidence, and that’s important, too. But beyond that, severely cracked heels can also be a big source of pain, and even provides a wide opening for an infection.
Why Your Heels Crack Open
Along with the palms of your hands, the soles of your feet are the only part of your skin that doesn’t produce its own natural oils for lubrication. Instead, your feet rely on sweat glands (half a million of them between the left and right!) to do the work.
Unfortunately, that means your feet are a prime target for dry skin, especially the fatty pad on the bottom of your heel. The combination of dry skin and constant weight and pressure can cause the skin to split, crack, and fissure. Essentially, the fatty pad spreads out and expands due to the weight, but the skin isn’t soft or pliable enough to go along for the ride. Severe cracks can become infected and may even bleed!
Common causes of dry skin on feet include:
- Cold temperatures outside, or dry heat indoors
- Taking hot showers and baths (or soaking in them too long)
- Using harsh soaps that dry out your feet, or scrubbing them too hard
- Dehydration (not drinking enough water)
- Malnutrition or dietary deficiencies in key vitamins and minerals
- Not using moisturizer
- Certain medical conditions, including dermatitis, thyroid problems, kidney disease, or diabetes (which causes the nerve damage that can lead to dry skin)
Soothing and Mending Your Cracked Heels
If you’re suffering from painful or frustrating cracked heels—especially if you have diabetes—it may be the wisest decision to stop in for a visit with us.
Our medically trained team can assess the problem and get you the care you need. For starters, we’ll make sure that the dead skin is removed in way that is safe, clean, and effective. Moving on, we can evaluate the root causes of your dry skin and cracked heels and help you take whatever steps you need to manage it, whether that’s better management for your diabetes, recommendations for new shoes or moisturizers, or otherwise.
The Piede Foot Spa, on site at the Kansas Foot Center, is also the perfect place to go if you’re looking to rejuvenate your feet! Our team provides a comfortable, sterile environment for foot pampering, and our doctor is always close by if you need an evaluation. Enjoy a skin-revitalizing, petroleum-free natural alternative to paraffin (alongside a hydrating massage!) that will have your heels looking soft and supple. We also provide diabetic foot care, too!
Once your heels are looking baby smooth again, daily care at home will give you a better chance of keeping them that way! Make sure you use a moisturizer regularly, don’t soak your feet too long, drink plenty of water, and wear good closed-toed shoes and socks during the day.
To schedule an appointment with the Kansas Foot Center podiatry team in Wichita, please give us a call today at (866) 222-5177. You can also reach the Piede Foot Spa team at (316) 712-0255.