Cracked Heels

Is the skin on your feet dry?  Are your heels cracked?  Dry, cracked heels are a common problem that most people look at as a nuisance or a cosmetic problem that makes them want to hide their feet.  However, cracks, also known as fissures, can be a problem if the skin around the edge of the heel is thick (callused) and can become more complicated it the skin bleeds or it is painful to stand.  In more severe cases, the skin can become infected.

Signs and Symptoms

Dry, cracked heels.  Some people are more prone to cracked heels because they have naturally dry skin.  For some people, the callus around the rim of the heel is more likey to crack and even possible bleed for a variety of factors.  Some of those factors include prolonged standing, being overweight, or wearing shoes that open to the back (especially flip flops!).  Other skin and medical conditions can also lead to dry, cracked heels such as eczema, psoriasis, underactive thyroid and diabetes.


For mild cases, applying an oil based moisturizer at least twice a day is essential.  A pumice stone is helpful in removing some of the thickness.  Also, wearing quality socks and well fitting shoes will help combat the problem.  For more severe cases, our podiatrist can remove, or debride, some of the callused skin, and provide stronger cremes that actually helps dissolve some of the thick skin.

Some Learning Library text is derived from Wikipedia. All text is Creative Commons licensed Share and Share Alike.