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What You Need To Know About Cracked Heels

Why Do You Need To Know About Cracked Heels?

When there is a fissure or a break in the skin around the edges of the heels, cracking can occur. This is more likely to happen if the skin in that area of your foot is dry or thick, and these cracks can open and close, resulting in pain when standing or walking.

When we stand, walk or run, a lot of pressure is placed on our heels from our body weight, and this can cause the tissue under our heels to spread out, resulting in a pulling force on the skin around the heels. Standing for extended periods of time or wearing open back shoes can also cause cracked heels as they can place increased pressure and tension on the skin around this area. It is important to check on your heels regularly because if the skin in this area is dry or thickened, it may lose its ability to withstand such pressure and will break, so you need to monitor your feet and care for them properly.

Those who suffer from dermatitis, diabetes, psoriasis or hypothyroidism are more at risk for developing dry skin, so you would have to pay extra attention to this part of your body. If any cracks in your heels are left untreated, they may become infected, and you will experience increased redness and a lot of pain.

If you have cracked heels, there are certain steps you can take at home to help treat this condition. The first is to file the skin around your heels gently with either an emery board or pumice stone if it is not too painful. If your heels are causing you too much pain, soak them in warm water with salt for a maximum of ten minutes, as this will clear any bacteria in the cracks of your skin. Next, dry your feet thoroughly with a towel because water can dehydrate the skin and make matters worse. You will then have to apply an emollient that contains urea or salicylic acid to your heels, which can be purchased at pharmacies. They are designed to lock in moisture in your feet and will help soften your hardened skin. If the pain from the cracks is unbearable, cover them with a plaster or bandage to keep them dry for a couple of days and avoid open-back shoes. It is very important to wear the right footwear, so invest in the right shoes with the proper support.

If the situation is severe or you have a medical condition affecting your immune system or have diabetes, it is a must that you see a podiatrist before treating your cracked heels on your own because they will be able to suggest the best treatment for your needs and condition specifically.

If you require professional care, Elite Foot Care can help. Whether you require diabetic foot care or have other concerns related to your feet, we can help, so if you are in Edmonton, contact us today!

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How To Fix Cracked Heels

How To Fix Cracked Heels

Cracked Heels can be the bane of one’s existence. They’re painful, sore, and sometimes they bleed. Let’s be honest…any sort of foot pain will have you second-guessing everything you’ve done in your life up till this point. I usually find, with my clients, that one heel is worse than the other. Since we all have less than optimal gait, this is “normal” for humans in North America. How do cracked heels develop? Firstly, neglect and poor foot care. Second, calluses build-up, and walking adds pressure to the heels. Thirdly, compromised skin integrity can compound
cracked heels—Edema, excess weight, diabetes and foot ulcers can all contribute to this problem. So…how can you fix it?

Firstly, prepare to be consistent. For these cracks to go away, you need to be in it for the long haul. Set a weekly alarm in your phone so you don’t miss out on fixing your problem.

Secondly, file your feet DRY. That’s right… don’t soak your feet. Calluses are harder to remove if they are wet.

Next, get a decent foot file. A medium to coarse emery board works wonderfully, or a Pedi roller. Avoid pumice stones and metal files that will “grate” your heels, as these can go too deep, cause pain and numbness, and possibly exacerbate your problem.
Fourthly, get filing. I recommend removing a little at a time. Depending on your calluses, complications, and foot care conditions, start with filing down 10-15% of the callus on and/or
around the cracks. Do not get too aggressive…if you file away too much too soon, you risk having some burning, shooting pain in the heels. Always err on the conservative side.
Lastly, hydration! Drink enough water to keep your skin hydrated. Apply the lotion once or twice per day, depending on your ability and consistency. Do not use a petroleum-based product. I
recommend PodoExpert Cracked or Dry Skin Foam.

If your cracked heels are more severe than you can handle, or you have further complications that necessitate deferring to a professional, please reach out to us and make an appointment
for one of our highly trained foot care nurses.

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Corns and Calluses-Is There A Cure?

Corns and Calluses-Is There A Cure?

Throughout my practice as a foot care nurse, I have seen many clients, most between the ages of 35-50, book appointments for corn and callus removal. Many have been suffering foot pain for a very long time. Some have had their corns misdiagnosed as warts!

Today we will discuss what corns and calluses are, what causes them, and we will discuss treatment solutions.

Calluses

Calluses are areas of thickened skin cells, designed to protect the body from harm. A callus is the body’s response to protect the skin from breakdown, cuts, or abrasions. For instance, powerlifters and bodybuilders always develop calluses on their hands. These are caused by lifting a variety of weight, usually very heavy Olympic bars or dumbbells, on a regular basis. Likewise, calluses form on our feet as a result of how we walk, friction in our shoes, or over bony prominences to protect our feet. Calluses can also add cushion to body areas.

Over time, as your feet are under constant stress, calluses can build up to an unhealthy thickness which may cause your shoes to fit improperly, alter your gait, or cause you pain or discomfort. Fortunately, calluses can be easily managed once they are brought under control.

Corns

Corns are simply localized calluses. They are round, hard areas on your foot that have been under focal pressure for a prolonged period of time. Corn is incredibly painful because the pressure shoots right up the nerve endings in the foot. Ouch! Some people have corns with minimal issues, while others are unable to walk under the crippling pain. If you are experiencing such pain and discomfort, contact your foot care nurse immediately. (link to book appointment form). A professional and qualified foot care nurse will likely be able to remove your corns in one visit.

Treatment

Corns and calluses should not be removed on your own. Do not be tempted to dig into your feet with implements like scissors or kitchen knives. It’s vital that these conditions are properly assessed and brought under control by a trained professional. If you have troublesome corn and cannot see your foot care nurse for several days, you can purchase corn pads from your local pharmacy. These are small, oval-shaped pads with a small hole in the center. They have an adhesive on one side, and a soft foam cushion on the other. You can apply these corn pads to the affected area, with the corn in the center. This will relieve the pressure on the area, giving you a much-needed reprieve until your appointment. Once removed, you will be more comfortable and pain-free. Calluses will always return but are simple to manage once your foot care nurse gives you the go-ahead. Corns may or may not reappear, depending on a number of factors. Keep your feet clean, dry, and moisturized and make sure to notify your foot care nurse if they return.