Dry, cracked heels in pregnancy

Why your heels can get dry and cracked when you’re pregnant, and how to soothe the condition

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“You may find that amongst all the other foot problems during pregnancy, dry and cracked heels will be another!” says midwife Janine Smith, from Birth Basics.

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Why do cracked heels in pregnancy occur?

“If you already have dry skin prior to pregnancy, this might make you more predisposed to having dry feet and heels during pregnancy,” says Podiatrist Junaid Ahmed, from Feet4Life. “It’s down to changes in posture, the way you walk and weight gain that causes some heels to dry up and become sore.”

If you suffer from swollen feet, chances are you’ll find that your heels will become cracked and dry because of the increased pressure of the padded area under your heel, explains midwife Janine. “The extra pressure on the heel causes it to expand sideways and eventually crack if it’s not moisturised enough,” says Janine.

Is it normal to have dry, cracked heels in pregnancy?

It all depends on your skin type and how well you keeps your skin moisturised, explains midwife Janine. “Being pregnant, it’ll be hard to spend hours moisturising your feet – mainly because you’ll get to a stage where you won’t be able to reach them! But try not to abandon them,” she says.

“My feet really dried out when I was expecting. They eventually cracked and were very sore – and not to mention unattractive!” says MFM user Toni-Marie Verrier. “My left foot had dry skin all over the heel area so I had to try and put pressure on my right foot when I was walking. I think it’s because I put more pressure on my left side,” says MFM user LuluP.

How to deal with dry, cracked heels

“Soak your feet in aloe vera products or try oatmeal based products, as they soften the skin,” says Podiatrist Junaid. “Invest in a foot spa, or hint to your partner to massage moisturiser into your damaged heels. Get a pair of moisture-lock socks to wear at night, so the moisturiser can sink in properly overnight,” suggests Junaid.

Other pregnancy foot complaints:

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