How To Fix Cracked Heels: Causes, Remedies, Treatment

How To Fix Cracked Heels: Causes, Remedies, Treatment

Heels, the least cared part of our body as we think only moisturizer is fine for it. But then when they become cracked, yellow, itching, flaky, and hard? Yeah, it’s really hard. Although cracked heels are common, in few cases they can lead to bleeding too. And during that time your moisturizers alone can’t help. So, I simply mean to say that include footcare in your daily, weekly and monthly skincare routine. Too simple, is it?

Women are more likely to get cracked heels compared to men. What causes them? How to care for them? What are the other remedies available other than moisturizer? Read below to find the answer.


Certain medical conditions like diabetes, obesity can cause cracks. Common cause would be environmental conditions, poor hydration and dry skin.

Skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema, fungal infections, palmoplantarkeratoderma (thick skin on hands and foot). Not only these. Healthy individuals can also develop cracked heels because of their lifestyle pattern or profession. Few are listed below:

  • Wearing unfit shoes, open back shoes with less support.
  • Standing for longer hours.
  • Poor moisturization or no moisturization.
  • Pregnancy and aging.
  • Moisturizing only in cold weather.
  • Walking barefoot.
  • Hot shower.
  • Using harsh soaps.

To manage heel fissures due to these conditions, choose proper fit comfortable shoes and target hydration.

When it comes to hydrating the skin apart from thick moisturizers that are available for heels, there are gel insoles, and gel socks that help balance the moisture levels. Exfoliating creams or scrubs would also help in removing dead skin cells and avoids thickening of the skin. Depending upon the severity one can use this everyday or once in a week. And to maintain the skin soft can be followed up as amonthly routine too. But never miss applying moisturizer on daily basis.

Heel Balm or Moisturizer

Foot care creams are available as humectants, emollients and rejuvenators.

Humectants attract water by binding with water molecules within the upper layer of the skin. Glycerine and Hyaluronic acid are humectants. Emollients deliver lipids to the skin, nourishing and moisturizing simultaneously. Incorporating both can help you manage conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and ichthyosis. Shea butter, coco butter and minerals oil are emollients.They are best applied at night or during periods of rest to allow for maximum absorption.

Humectants are useful for adding hydration without feeling heavy or oily. They may not be sufficient for severe cases of cracked heels but can be used in conjunction with other treatments. For every day use to maintain skin health use humectants. Choose emollients for thick skin.

Foot rejuvenating cream nourishes and repairs the dry skin. They contain exfoliating acids along with urea or lactic acid for added moisture. They are particularly effective for addressing thick, calloused skin on the heels.Ideal for individuals with stubborn or recurring cases of cracked heels, as well as those with conditions like psoriasis or eczema. However, they may cause irritation or sensitivity in some individuals, especially those with sensitive skin.

Gel socks

Insoles or socks with gel base would help avoid friction due to ill fitting shoes thus avoiding dryness, sores, and cracked heels.Gel socks are sometimes formulated with moisturizing ingredients alongwith silicone material. This offers cushioning,shock absorption and also evenly distributes weight. All these benefits might help control the severity of the condition.

Exfoliating creams

Foot skin that is cracked tends to be thicker and drier than skin in other locations on the body. Because of this, soaking your feet and using an exfoliating tool can help to remove the hard, thick skin that causes the fissures to develop.

Exfoliating creams help clear off dead skin cells and thick skin. Choose exfoliants that doesn’t irritate your skin. You can choose physical or chemical exfoliants. Scrubs,pumice stone or foot file are physical exfoliants and creams or gels containing alpha hydroxy acids (AHA), beta hydroxy acids (BHA) are chemical exfoliants. Do not overscrub even if your foot skin is thick. Exfoliation can be done once or twice a week. There are daily use exfoliants with AHA or BHA in lesser concentration. Choose according to your heel condition. Do not exfoliate bleeding cracks. For thick skin exfoliation is a better option.

How to Exfoliate Cracked Heels using physical exfoliants?

Soak your feet in lukewarm water for about 20 minutes and then scrub gently with pumice stone or scrub. When you have finished, apply your moisturizer immediately. This avoids irritation and also keeps the skin hydrated.

Simple foot care routine:

  • Check your feet daily. If dry apply moisturizer often
  • Wash your feet daily to get rid of dirt and bacteria, especially in cases of cracks washing help avoid germ build up worsening the condition.
  • If you are diabetic inspect your feet cautiously.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Avoid prolonged standing.
  • Never skip your foot moisturizer even if your foot is not dry.
  • Exfoliate once a week in case of thick skin. Once you get smooth feet exfoliate once a month for maintenance.
  • Dry the feet thoroughly after washing to prevent moisture buildup between the toes.
  • Foot massages or stretching exercises can help to improve circulation and relieve pressure on the heels.


All these are first line treatment suggested for cracked heels.Dry and cracked heels can be unsightly, irritating, and even painful but that doesn’t mean that you have to live with them. By following the prevention techniques you can ensure that your foot is kept hydrated, clean, and free of cracks.

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