It's fairly common to have dry, cracked skin in the winter. However, if your feet are always dry and cracked, or if you have deep fissures in your heels, consider seeing a podiatrist for help. Here are some home remedies and professional treatments for cracked feet.
When you're applying moisturizer to your dry skin, don't forget your feet. Keeping the skin hydrated is important for preventing cracks in your feet. Choose a moisturizer without alcohol and wear socks after applying it to hold the moisture in.
Use A Pumice Stone
You can get rid of dry skin buildup by gently using a pumice stone on your heels. Use the stone a little at a time so you don't remove too much skin and make your feet tender. If you have diabetes or other medical condition that affects the circulation or sensation in your feet, talk to your podiatrist before using a pumice stone.
Try Prescription Medication
Your podiatrist can recommend the best moisturizers for your feet or prescription creams that soften dead skin. They might also prescribe antibiotics or antifungal medications if the cracks get infected. Possible complications of fissures in heels include bleeding, infections, and pain. Your podiatrist can help you manage your condition so you can manage infections and keep up with walking and working.
Remove Some Dry Skin
Your podiatrist might consider removing a layer of the dry skin with a surgical tool. The doctor might do this over a few treatments so only a small amount is removed at once. Getting rid of some of the dead skin makes it easier to hydrate and care for the healthy skin underneath.
Change Your Footwear
Your podiatrist will try to understand what's causing your feet to dry out and crack. One possible cause is your footwear. Your foot doctor might recommend wearing shoes and socks that fully enclose your feet so the skin on your feet doesn't dry out, and so your heels aren't constantly irritated when you walk.
Your podiatrist might also recommend over-the-counter shoe inserts or custom orthotics if you have a foot shape that makes wearing shoes uncomfortable. They can also help with orthotics that make walking more comfortable when your heel fissures are uncomfortable or painful.
Close The Fissures
Your podiatrist might consider using medical glue to close a fissure in your heel. The dead skin might be removed as much as possible first, and the area cleaned. The crack can then be glued together and held in place with a bandage to allow the skin to heal faster.
Contact a podiatrist for more information.