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This seems so trivial, I'm sorry, but it is getting quite sore now. It's basically a very deep crack in the hard skin on my heel, not bleeding, but painful to walk on. I got some of that cracked heel cream stuff they advertise but that seems more cosmetic than anything... Does anyone know how I can help this thing heal up? We're going on holiday in a few weeks which will inevitably mean lots of walking, I'd rather not be the one holding up the party! Thanks
Cracked heel cream - any of the brands sold at Boots are good. Get some and apply it in a thick layer, then wrap your feet in clingfilm. Leave overnight. In the morning, wash it off with soapy water and then use a pumice stone (gently). Repeat next night. Within three days it will be better. But you need to keep on top of it because it may come back if you don't keep using it regularly (about once a month in my case).
Soak feet for half an hour in a bowl of fairly hot water while you are watching TV, then get a heel file and file the hard skin on your heel while still in the water. Towel dry and apply Sudocrem zinc cream really working it into the crack and smear over rest of heel as well. Do this just before bed and put a sock on. Repeat every night for a week. Sudocrem will sting a bit for a minute or two but it does the trick.
It sounds counterintuitive but keeping the hard skin on your heel filed away will stop your heel cracking. Keep doing the treatment once a week once the crack has gone or it will come back.
See if you can get some salicylic acid (should go upstairs to check spelling but am tired!). It was prescribed for me by a very understanding doctor - heel cracking was so bad that I could no longer walk properly, and in fact had huge trouble with painful hips later on; it was only much later I realised it was because I'd been walking so badly. You might be able to get it over the counter, but I was prescribed such a vat of the stuff I haven't got through it yet. Anyway, it sounds grim, but it's a white vaseline-like paste that you smear on every night and it works like magic: it keeps the skin soft and lets it slough off (yes, this thread is not for the squeamish), but in a good way. The trouble with filing manically is (a chiropodist said to me) that it sends a signal to the brain that you must build up more skin on your heels, which promptly cracks. I found I couldn't file enough to keep the skin down. Like you, I found the standard foot creams just didn't do much after a while.
The other thing that helps if you've got to walk with a cracked heel is simply a plaster - maybe obvious, but I find it makes it much more bearable. It also stops sock fibres getting in there which is really horrid!
some heel creams are useless - Flexitol is the best I've found. But you must put it on all the way through the summer, I've found. I use a corn remover, that has a razor in it, to slice away the hard skin, but use it when my feet are softenened up by a bath. Anyway, you have my sympathy, I've got a horrible one at the moment too.