Fissures are very common in the foot, ankle, and lower leg area and can arise from several causes. They are characterized by a deep, linear crack on the skin’s surface. They can be triggered by multiple causes, ranging from wearing items that are too tight for the feet to various medical conditions such as diabetes or eczema. Poor circulation and biomechanics may also contribute to fissure formation; if left untreated, they might become exacerbated, leading to further complications down the line. To diagnose fissures properly, a medical professional such as a podiatrist will evaluate the affected area for signs of redness and inflammation and feel it for any tenderness or pain that may be present. A podiatrist will address a fissure with various treatments, from antibiotics to moisturizers or petroleum jelly, which soften the skin. In more severe cases, you may be recommended steroid creams to reduce inflammation while also speeding up healing time. Surgery may become necessary for treatment in rare circumstances where other attempts are not successful in bringing relief. Proactive maintenance is key in avoiding fissures – wear clean, cotton socks daily to avoid tight-fitting shoes and synthetic materials that can cause the skin on your feet to crack. After showering or bathing, apply foot powder for optimal dryness. Avoid walking barefoot, especially on hard surfaces like concrete; check your feet daily for any potential redness or irritation. Lastly, when clipping nails, be mindful of areas prone to cracking so as not to cause further damage.
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