Scranton Podiatrist | Scranton Newsletter | PA | Richard T. Meredick, DPM, PC |

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Richard T. Meredick, DPM, PC
David J. Flannery, DPM
Brian J. Kobylus, DPM

All doctors board certified in American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery


Newsletter

Dry & Cracked Heels


With summer just around the corner, you’re going to want your feet in tip-top shape for sandal season. Dry and cracked skin can prevent you from having fun in the sun. Dry skin is irritating and can create cracks along the heels. Not only is this painful, but these cracks can let harmful bacteria into your body and increase the risk of infection. Your local podiatrist has a few tips and tricks for beating dry skin at its own game. Learn how to get the most out of this summer season.

Symptoms of Dry and Cracked Heels
Besides the noticeable dry skin on the heels, there are other symptoms that accompany this condition. Other symptoms experienced are:

  • Itching
  • Pain
  • Flaky Skin
  • Ulceration
  • Inflamed Skin
  • Bleeding

For patients with other medical conditions, like diabetes, complications can occur. You may experience a diabetic foot ulcer, loss of feeling, or an infection. Contact your doctor if symptoms of infection occur like redness, swelling, pain, and warmth occur.

Causes of Dry Skin
There is a multitude of causes for dry and cracked skin. The biggest factor is calluses. Calluses form when the skin around your ankles thickens and dries. Putting pressure on your feet when walking or engaging in physical activity causes them to crack. From here, the calluses worsen and create dry and cracked skin.

Your choice of shoewear also puts you at risk of dry skin. Make sure that your shoes fit properly and support your heels. A bad fit creates friction and can cause irritation on the skin of your heels. If you have a job or engage in activities that result in you standing for multiple hours a day, invest in the proper footwear. Your local podiatrist can provide you with shoe inserts or orthotics. When walking around barefoot or wearing open-backed sandals, make sure to moisturize and maintain proper skin care.

There are also medical conditions that affect your heels. Aging, pregnancy, and obesity are common causes. Patients with diabetes, psoriasis, vitamin deficiency and fungal infections are also at risk.

Preventing Cracked Heels
Prevention is the key to a long and healthy life. Home treatment and practices can relieve symptoms while resolving the problem. As mentioned, invest in some custom orthotics for your shoes. Your local podiatrist can provide you with orthotics or recommend a vendor.

Adding foot care to your daily routine is the other solution. A few times a week, after showering, use a pumice stone on your heels to remove callused, dried, or dead skin. Every night before bed, lather your feet in lotion and put on socks. The socks help your skin absorb the moisture.

The home treatment produces results within a few days. If your heels worsen, refuse to heal, or show signs of infection, contact your podiatrist immediately.


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