How To Treat Clients With Heel Fissures

By Janet McCormick

As a tech, you’ve likely seen your fair share of feet. While the minor vertical cracks that appear on the calluses of heels can be treated with routine exfoliation and pedicure practices, sometimes clients have a more serious condition: fissures. Heel deep cracks, also known as heel fissures, are the result of extremely dry skin, or xerosis, a common condition among people with chronic illnesses such as diabetes and kidney disease, and disorders such as psoriasis, eczema and athlete’s foot. Walking barefoot on moisture-pulling surfaces, such as carpeting and sand, can also lead to fissures, as can excess weight and the resulting downward pressure on the feet. Additionally, the subdermal opening at the base of a fissure may allow bacteria to enter and cause an infection beneath the skin, a dangerous occurrence that may lead to ulcers.

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Before working on a client with heel fissures, you must determine whether the condition is safe to treat. Start by reviewing the client’s health information sheet, then put on gloves and begin to inspect the feet and legs for infections and openings. If the fissures are accompanied by pinkness (a sign of potential infection), redness or any indication of bleeding, the client should not receive a pedicure, but rather, be referred to a doctor. If you determine that the client can receive a service, a waterless pedicure is the treatment of choice.

Learn how to treat heel fissured with a waterless pedicure by following the steps below.

heel fissures

1. Prep the feet for a pedicure service. Wipe them with a warm, wet towel, dry them, and apply a waterless cleanser. On the right foot, massage the cleanser into the skin until dry. Then, use a nail brush with additional cleanser on the toenails. Remove the cleanser, cover the foot with a dry towel and repeat on the left foot.

heel fissures

2. On the right foot, apply a scrubbing product and rub for 1 to 2 minutes, focusing on the calluses. Remove the product with a wet towel, then cover the foot with a dry towel. Repeat on the left foot.

heel fissures

3. Apply a massage product and perform massage on the right foot. Apply the cuticle treatment, then apply lotion or a treatment mask (staying away from the cuticles). Slip on a plastic bag and wrap the foot with a pre-warmed terrycloth towel. Repeat on the left foot.

heel fissures

4. Remove the wrapping from the right foot, wipe the treatment areas with a dry towel and apply callus softener, leaving it to set according to instructions. Then, remove the softener with a wet towel, dry the area and perform exfoliation. Wrap the foot in a dry towel, leaving the toes out.

heel fissures

5. Perform a cuticle treatment, then remove the towel and reapply lotion to the foot. Cover with a warm, dry towel. Move to the left foot and repeat Steps 4 and 5.

heel fissures

6. Cleanse the nails of both feet with alcohol or a nail sanitizer. Then, continue with the pedicure service.

What are your thoughts about waterless pedicures? Let us know in the comments below! 

[Images: Getty images/Alina555- E+, photos: Armando Sanchez, nail tech: Katelyn Armstrong]

 This story was originally published in the February 2017 issue of NAILPRO.

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