Although in summer the problem is more visible, it is possible to have dry and cracked heels throughout the year. “It is more common than we think. And above all, it is usually associated with people who spend many hours standing and to those with very dry skin . Another cause is the type of footwear used, because if it is very hard it favors this condition, ”says Maite García Martínez, president of the Illustrious Official College of Podiatrists of the Valencian Community (Icopcv) .
Generally, people who have a cavus foot usually support the heel more than usual and in the forefoot, so it could be related to the early appearance of dry heel.
When we consider that there is an altered area on the soles of the feet, we want to eliminate it. This happens especially in the heels, when we see a white or yellowish area of consistency different from the rest of the skin of the foot. In addition, it often has a scratchy tendency and can cause pain. However, “under this appearance of what we believe is a callus or a dehydrated area of the skin can hide some pathology that has produced that excess skin in the area. Therefore, if it is eliminated at home with a lime, not only will the problem not be solved, but it could be aggravated, ”says the podiatrist.
On the cracks , from the Icopcv they indicate that they are usually produced in areas of friction such as the fingers, heels or the sides of the foot when they are dehydrated. The constant friction with the shoe is the one that produces an alteration of the superficial layer of the skin and its “detached” cells from the rest of the layers. Therefore, it is essential to perform a daily hydration routine that keeps the skin supple and nourished.
Tips for dryness and cracks in the heel
“The main thing is prevention. If the dryness and cracks in the heels have already appeared, the origin of the problem must be found and solved. The use of urea creams early stage can be a good choice , as is also the petrolatum or creams with this product, and the hyaluronic acid . If there is a crack that bothers or is open, it should be checked by a professional foot specialist ”, advises the president of the Icopcv.
The podiatrist warns that “the cracks can be dehydrated areas or hide skin diseases such as eczema , psoriasis or ringworm and, in this case, filing them is very counterproductive because it could increase the severity of the pathology. In these cases, the treatment does not require a filing of the area, but the application of specific ointments that treat the pathology ”.
Moreover, ” the use of files for dry and cracked heels is discouraged in most cases , because many people do not know how far to sand .”
Walking barefoot at home and on the beach is recommended without abuse. On the beach, always for wet and hard sand, avoiding sloping areas that can create instability and, thus, joint discomfort.
Is keratosis, hyperkeratosis and corns the same?
Yes and no, says García Martínez, explaining the difference between these terms: “We start from keratosis, which is the growth of skin cells creating a greater thickness in a given area. If we add ‘hyper’ it means that the growth is faster and more pronounced. Callo is the name that has been given a lifetime in a colloquial way. ”
The expert adds that “where we differentiate is in the helomas, called ‘chicken or rooster eyes’, which are generated when keratosis begins to produce cells inward and its pain is more localized, but it remains a callus.”