Cracked Heel
Natural Solutions in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch

Learn about the causes of Cracked Heel & find a practitioner in Auckland, Hamilton, Bay of Plenty, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin to help you overcome Cracked Heel within New Zealand.

Therapies which may benefit Cracked Heel

A cracked heel is caused by dry skin that can worsen when thick calluses are present. Cracked heel is often referred to as heel fissures and if these fissures are deep enough they can be extremely tender on weight-bearing. Infection can result if the fissures begin to bleed. Symptoms are often made worse by open shoes as the skin can dehydrate easily.


Causes of cracked heel  

Many people are prone to dry skin and this is often the common cause for cracks to appear on the heel. Thick dry skin (known as callus) around the heel is prone to cracking when pressure is increased (for example when walking or standing for long periods on hard surfaces).
Cracked Heel | The Wellness Directory
Factors that can cause cracked heel include:

  • Long periods of standing
  • Obesity or being overweight – increased weight on the pad under the heel causes it to expand and if the skin around the heel is dry or not supple enough it will crack
  • Footwear – open backed shoes allow the fat under the heel to expand which increases the chances of the skin cracking
  • Medical conditions – conditions such as diabetes or an underactive thyroid reduce the amount of sweat the body produces which results in dry skin
  • Skin conditions – psoriasis and eczema can lead to cracked skin around the heel
Other causes of cracked heel include:
  • Flat feet
  • Athlete's foot
  • Poorly fitted shoes
  • Surgery to the lower limb
  • Heel spurs
  • Misalignment of the metatarsal bones in the foot
  • Alcohol abuse/withdrawal
  • Smoking

Symptoms of cracked heel

The common symptoms of cracked heel include:

  • Tough, dry skin on the outer edge of the heel
  • Cracked skin (known as fissures)
  • Skin that is yellow or dark in colour
  • Pain or discomfort when walking or standing
  • Red, itchy or flaky skin
Wearing open back shoes or shoes with a thin sole will often make symptoms worse.


Diagnosis of cracked heel 

If you are suffering pain and discomfort from cracked heels then in the first instance you should visit your GP who will make a physical examination of the affected area. They may also ask about your choice of footwear, your working environment and lifestyle choices (smoking, drinking etc.).

If necessary, the GP may refer you to a footcare specialist (known as a podiatrist) who will perform further tests to find the cause of the problem.


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