Cracked heels –  also known as heel fissures

are tears in the skin that are a common, painful complication of skin that has become dehydrated and thickened.

Cracked heels develop as a result of the dry and hard skin being placed under stress. Normal hydrated skin is supple and elastic and will flex when put under pressure. Dry and hard skin has reduced flexibility and is less able to bear stress and weight during standing and walking.

A good analogy is with wet and dry clay.

Wet clay is supple and stretches when downward force is applied. Clay that is almost dry and has lost most of its moisture will crack at the edges under the same force.

The cracks can become very deep and bleed and the open splits can become infected and inflamed.

This can cause discomfort and stinging pain, especially when standing or walking, as the weight of the body and impact with the ground puts the skin under more pressure. Cracks this deep usually occur in particularly thickened and callused skin.

Read more about how to treat cracked heels •here•


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