Also known as
heel fissures, cracked heels are a common
condition in which the heels become cracked &
painful. The most common cause of cracked heels
is excessively dry skin (also known as xerosis).
It is more frequent in the cooler months & seen
more frequently in older people.
Other factors include;
open backed shoes frequently.
This increases pressure on the feet, causing
them to expand sideways which over time can
cause them to split.
disease (such as diabetes & hypothyroidism).
disorders (such as eczema, psoriasis).
vitamin & mineral deficiencies.
barefoot a lot.
Symptoms of cracked heels:
The skin on
the back of the heels first thickens, and
becomes dry & hardened. This is known as a a
callus As the condition progresses, heels form
small cracks, which enlarge over time. Bleeding
may occur if the cracks become deep enough.
may become infected if left untreated.
Treatment of cracked heels:
Application of a thick layer of an oil based
moisturiser, then wrapping the feet in cling
film & wearing socks overnight can be
especially helpful. For more moderate cases,
daily moisturising with a good quality,
thick moisturiser may be enough.
ointment is an effective product that can be
used to treat cracked heels.
balms available from your local chemist can
be used for more serious cases. Your doctor
or pharmacist will be able to advise on
thickened layers of skin with a pumice. Do
NOT attempt to remove skin with a razor
blade or scissors. This could lead to
infection and damage to the foot.
well balanced diet.
over use of open backed shoes. Wear shoes
with adequate cushioning or wear shoe
the amount of time spent walking in bare
should be seen by your doctor who may recommend
a podiatrist (a medical specialist who treats
foot disorders). You should also seek medical
attention if heel cracks bleed or weep.