Q/A: Cracked!


Thursday, November 5th, 2009

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imagesIt’s that time again peoples, cracked heel season.

Cracked skin is generally distressing, however cracked heels can up the torment ante. Cracked heels can vary from being unsightly to being cracked so badly that the heels bleed and cause pain. Not to mention, for all the stockings/ tights wearers cracked soles can also put a run in your hosiery,  and that is just not cool.

The question was asked “How do I deal with cracked heels?”

A few of my tips:

- Exfoliate 
Invest in a simple foot file and exfoliate heels (and balls of the feet if necessary) regularly, at least twice a week. Build up of dead skin cells can result in  hardening of skin around heels, so exfoliate to reveal softer newer skin.
Side note – Wearing certain shoes can result in callus buildup on feet. Calluses are formed to provide extra cushioning to feet and is readily associated with wearing certain shoes for extended periods of time. You know which shoes I’m talking about ;)

Caution: Do not over exfoliate. Overly exfoliating the sole of the foot is painful. It can also result in bleeding. It will take your foot a few days to a few of weeks to regenerate enough skin cells to cushion the pain associated with over exfoliation.

Pay attention to the state of your heels during exfoliation, and do not exfoliate vigorously with the brittle side of the foot file, in cases where there are two grit levels on foot file. If this is your first time exfoliating your feet, start with the less coarse surface (smaller grit size) of the foot file and exfoliate daily for a week or so until you have cleared the hard, calloused dead skin cells. This would prevent from from over-exfoliation.

- Moisturize heels with thick cream (as opposed to a lotion) just after showering

If you are anything like I am and cream/ lotion/ anything on the heels or palms results in a sweat fest, applying night time or before bed will be best.

- Wear closed shoes
As far as possible wear closed heeled shoes instead of flip flops or sandals to avoid moisture loss from feet, particularly heels. Women, can still go for peep toe shoes/ flats to allow their toes to breathe.

- Custom contraption
This suggestion may sound silly, but it works. If you have a problem with cracked heels and have tried everything above, you may want to give this a shot.

- After showering, lotion soles with a heavy, ultra moisturizing cream. There are foot creams specifically designed for this purpose. (Applying plain old petroleum jelly over normal lotion can also work, whichever works works for you.)
- Wrap feet in plastic wrap. You can leave your toes exposed, especially if you are tending to a nail infection or otherwise
- Place lotioned, plastic-wrapped feet in ankle socks overnight

Feet can feel a lot slushy when walking around in this contraption so you can do it just before bed/ after the freaky freaky.

- Hydrate
Ensure that you are drinking more than enough water during the day.  

Tights/stocking wearing glamazons, can wear matching coloured ‘footsies’ before wearing stockings/tights when wearing boots/ booties to prevent the tights/ stockings from shearing. Is that what they are called ‘footsies’? Those ballet shoe looking socks that cover just the toes and heels. 

Hope this helps. If you have any other tips that work for you feel free to share them.

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