There are many potential causes of "cracked heels." Dry skin (xerosis) is common and can get worse with wearing open-back shoes, increased weight, or increased friction from the back of shoes. Dry cracking skin can also be a subtle sign of more significant problems, such as diabetes or loss of nerve function (autonomic neuropathy).
Heels should be kept well moisturized with a cream to help reduce the cracking. If an open sore is noted, make an appointment with a foot and ankle surgeon for evaluation and treatment.
Skin & Nail Issues
Athlete's foot and fungal nails are the most common fungal problems with feet.
Many people don't realize they have a fungal nail problem and, therefore, don't seek treatment. Yet, fungal toenail infections are a common foot health problem and can persist for years without ever causing pain. The disease, characterized by a change in a toenail's color, is often considered nothing more than a mere blemish. Left untreated, however, it can present serious problems.
Click here for more information on fungal nails.
Ingrown toenails occur when the corners or sides of the toenail dig into the skin, often causing infection. Also known as onychocryptosis, ingrown toenails, start out hard,swollen, and tender. Left untreated, they may become sore, red, and infected and the skin may start to grow over the ingrown toenail. They are usually caused by trimming toenails too short, particularly on the sides of the big toes, and may also be caused by shoe pressure (from shoes that are too tight or short), injury, fungus infection, heredity, or poor foot structure. A common ailment, ingrown toenails can be painful. Click here for more information on ingrown toenails.
For more information on other common skin problems click each topic below.