Heel fissures, also known as cracked heels can be a simple cosmetic problem and a nuisance, but can also lead to serious medical problems. Heel fissures occur when the skin on the bottom, outer edge of the heel becomes hard, dry and flaky, sometimes causing deep fissures that can be painful or bleed.
Cracked Heels are a common foot problem also referred to as 'heel fissures'. Cracked heels are commonly caused by dry skin (xerosis). The symptoms are worse when the skin around the rim of the heel is thick (callus).
Heel fissures can affect anyone, but risk factors include:
Like many foot conditions, heel fissures can become more dangerous if they go untreated and become deep or infected. This is especially dangerous for people with diabetes or compromised immune systems.
Moisturizing the feet regularly can prevent heel fissures. Once they occur, can use a pumice stone daily to gently decrease the thick and flaky layer of skin. Avoid going barefoot or wearing open-backed shoes, sandals or shoes with thin soles. Shoes with strong shock absorption can help to improve the condition.
Moisturizing the feet at least twice a day and wearing socks over moisturizer while sleeping can also help.
The key to treating cracked heels at home is to apply a moisturizer before bed at night and then trap the moisture in your feet overnight by wearing a special sock that prevents the moisture from evaporating. If you haven’t seen improvement in that time, see your podiatrist.