• Pod Co Podiatry

Cracking up?

I know it may seem like we haven’t had the most consistently hot summer this year but I bet you’ve been cruising about in your thongs for the last 2 months without a second thought. If so, you may have ended up with heels that look like the image below – attractive isn’t it? Hard, uncomfortable, scratchy on your sheets and getting caught in your socks, not to mention painful when they split open and bleed.

So why are you putting up with it?


People who suffer with dry, cracked skin around the heels and other areas of the feet have it for a number of reasons:

  1. Exposure of the feet to the air – usually worst in summer when wearing sandals and going barefoot is common.

  2. Any medical condition that leads to a lack of circulation to the skin surface such as diabetes, underactive thyroid, heart disease, arterial and venous blockages and old age. 

  3. With weight gain, callus will increase especially around the heels, which can lead to cracking.

  4. Some medications can cause drying of the skin such as those for swelling (diuretics) and some blood pressure medication.

  5. Low dietary oils and liquids.

  6. And for some, it’s simply due to genetics.

What can you do? 

Did you know that your podiatrist could have you smoothed out and feeling comfortable within a matter of minutes?  So the easiest solution to your problem is to see your podiatrist. They will quickly and painlessly remove the dry skin, which will then be much easier for you to maintain at home. 

To care for your feet after your appointment, there are many home devices and lotions you can use.

Foot files – ranging from large emery board-type paddles to battery-powered sanders (such as the Scholl electronic foot file) are good to use on dry skin – just make sure you don’t rub too hard as this may make your feet sensitive. Pumice stone – good to use regularly in the shower Heel balms – effective heel balms contain an ingredient called urea, which is a naturally occurring moisturizing substance in the top layer of skin (epidermis). Urea helps by retaining water in the skin cells, softens the horny layer of the skin and protects against further drying out.  Eulactol and NS-8 are two of the better-known urea-based creams. Just remember that these creams aren’t like normal moisturisers where the more you use the better.  You only need to apply a small amount to the dry areas, not to the whole foot.

If you are consistent with your home care, your feet will look better for longer.