Risk Factors for Heel Fissures

We’ve all seen pictures of our Arizona deserts during a drought, so dry that the earth cracks wide open. Well, the skin on your heels can crack like that, too, and not just because it’s as dry as a desert. There are several risk factors for heel fissures to form beyond simply un-moisturized feet. Knowing what can cause your heels to crack is your first step to avoiding the pain and problems the condition can bring. Common cracked heel culprits include:

Standing and walking for too long. Heels can be prone to developing thickened, dry skin around the edges, and if you are on your feet a lot, the fat pad on the bottom of your heel expands, causing these calloused areas to crack.

Excessive weight. The stress of carrying added weight can cause already vulnerable heels to crack.

Hot showers and harsh soaps. These can zap your skin of much-needed moisture.

Climate. Let’s face it, Arizona’s temperatures and lack of humidity can leave skin parched, and that includes the skin on your heels! In addition, it’s easy to become dehydrated in our climate which can definitely add to the problem.

Age. As if aging doesn’t have enough challenges already, the wear and tear on heels over time, and the fact that your skin and fat pad underneath your heel thins as you age can all add up to a higher risk of fissures forming.

Diabetes. Diabetic feet are especially at risk of heel fissures since uncontrolled blood sugar and nerve damage can not only cause dry skin that cracks, but these cracks can go unnoticed due to numbness, and become dangerously infected as a result of a compromised immune system and healing process.

If you fall into any of these categories, especially if you have diabetes, be on the lookout for any signs of dry or thickened skin on your heels and stop cracks before they start by keeping your feet moisturized, and keeping the above risk factors in mind. Call our Chandler office for help by dialing (480) 963-9000. We can conquer your cracked heels and any complications they may cause!