Spring is here in the Central West and that means that we are starting to put our closed in footwear away and are looking towards open toed shoes. Unfortunately, many of us look down at our feet and shudder at the horror that lies before us! Out of sight , out of mind. But the warmer days mean that we will want to wear shoes that very much put our feet on display.
Cracked heels are a common complaint at this time of year with the transition out of closed footwear causes our feet to split and crack at the heels. This is primarily due to a loss of elasticity in the skin in these parts of the body. Primarily this is caused by an excess of skin in the area known as callus. The callus dries and splits under the pressure of everyday activities.
Cracked heels can be made worse by the following
Increase in weight over winter
Spending long periods of time standing or walking without footwear on
Dry skin from low humidity in cold weather
Circulation problems such as those with diabetes.
Inappropriate open heeled footwear such as poor supportive sandals or thongs.
The cracking is often not just on the heels but can be in the forefoot as well. General reduction of callus on the bottom or plantar surface of the foot, not only reduces the risk of cracking but also improves the comfort level of the patient.
We can definitely help you start the open toe shoe season with feet that will look good and feel great. Your Podiatrist is one of the few people who can legally use a blade on your feet to remove dry callus and improve skin elasticity. Most often, the dry thickened skin is debrided from the area by a skilled podiatrist and then the skin is smoothed before an emollient is applied. All of the instruments we use have been ultrasonically cleaned and sterilized in a validated autoclave so we can guarantee that our treatment is safe. We generally suggest that you wear closed shoes with socks or stockings to the consultation so that cream can be applied liberally and rubbed into the foot. This is by far the fastest and easiest way of starting the warmer months with feet that look and feel great.
What can you do?
Well, many of the moisturisers that we would use on skin in other parts of the body, just don’t cut it when it comes to moisturising the bottom of our feet. It is most important to use a urea based heel balm. The urea helps to break down the dead tissue on the bottom of the foot and improves the speed at which the moisturises penetrates the skin. This is usually best done in the morning and evening.
Use a foot file, or pumice stone to manually sand away excess skin around the borders of the heels. This is best done immediately after a shower when the skin is at its softest. Some foot files are designed to be used in the bath or shower. Do not use a knife or blade as you may cut and injure yourself leading to an infection and weakened skin. This could make cracking worse.
Use sports tape to strap and coved the cracks, giving them support so that further cracking is avoided and healing can take place.
Wear closed in shoes with socks whenever possible.
If you would like to have your feet tidied up for the coming summer, give us a call on 6334 2389 or click the "book online" button for an appointment. Be confident in open shoes that your feet will look at feel great!