Dry foot heel with fissures

What are Foot Fissures?

Did you know that adults need to walk an average of 10,000 steps daily to lose weight and stay healthy? Keeping active is even more important when you have problems with diabetes or vascular disease.

However, these conditions also come with problems like foot fissures. These painful cracks make it difficult to keep active and can also cause a serious infection if they’re left untreated. Therefore, it’s essential to understand more about them so you can get the treatment you need to get moving again.

Keep reading this guide to learn everything you need to know about foot fissures.

Foot fissures or heel fissures are cracks in the skin that typically occur on your heels. The skin on your heel becomes hard and dry, and you’ll also notice that your skin is flaky and crusty. Fissures or cracks can begin to form when your skin gets too dry.

Symptoms of Foot Fissures 

The signs and symptoms of heel fissures can vary, depending on their severity. Most of the time, you’ll experience symptoms like:

  • Visible splitting and cracking of the skin on your heels
  • Thickening of the skin around the fissures
  • Yellow or brown skin discoloration around a callused area

The symptoms can become more severe if you don’t treat heel fissures early on. This leads to symptoms such as bleeding, pain with walking, and open wounds or ulcers on your heels. As a result, a painful skin infection known as cellulitis can occur.

Causes of Foot Fissures

Heel fissures are common in people who have diabetes. This is because diabetes affects circulation and damages the nerves in your feet. As a result, your feet will feel less sensitive to pain, and deep, painless ulcers can form.

Other common causes of foot fissures include:

  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Poor circulation due to peripheral artery disease (PAD)
  • Poor nutrition
  • Obesity
  • Skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis
  • Walking or standing for long periods

How to Heal Foot Fissures

If you have mild fissures, you can try at-home treatments to moisturize and soften your skin. 

First, you’ll need to buy a hydrating cleanser that contains hyaluronic acid or lanolin. Plant oils like aloe vera and olive oil are also suitable for dry skin. Soak your feet in warm water with the cleanser for at least 10 minutes.

Pat your feet dry, then use a pumice stone or a foot scrub brush to remove the dead skin from your feet gently. Finally, apply a layer of petroleum jelly or thick moisturizer and put socks on before you go to bed.

To prevent foot fissures, you’ll need to avoid wearing open-healed shoes and walking barefoot on hard surfaces. You’ll also need to moisturize your feet daily.

Medical Treatments

For more severe foot fissures, you’ll need to see an experienced doctor or a podiatrist for treatment. An experienced wound care doctor can prescribe medications and perform wound care like debridement. Wound debridement involves the removal of dead tissue from a wound.

If you have pain in your legs, wounds that are slow to heal, or other health conditions like diabetes, you might have problems with your circulation. It’s a good idea to take a peripheral artery disease (PAD) assessment quiz to determine your risks.   

Get Help With Your Foot Fissures Today

Now that you understand more about foot fissures, you can start taking steps toward healing and improving your overall health and well-being.

Remember, it takes time to heal fissures, and sometimes you need expert help. You won’t need to look any further than Modern Vascular for your wound care treatments.

We specialize in treating non-healing wounds of the lower legs and feet due to diabetic foot ulcers, vascular disease, burns, and more.

Our team of professionals looks forward to helping you, so make sure you contact us today to discuss your symptoms.

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