Simple Remedies for Cracked Heels

Apr 6, 2023

The thick skin on your heels plays an important part in the overall health of your feet. This specific area of skin cushions your heels and helps absorb the shocks associated with weight-bearing movements, such as walking, running, and jumping.

If you notice that the skin around your heels has developed cracks, it’s important to address them as soon as possible. While cracked heels are not a huge cause for alarm, severe cases can lead to infection or cause more serious foot problems, such as altering your gait in order to avoid the pain associated with walking on cracked heels.

What are Cracked Heels?

Cracked heels are a common foot condition that occurs when the skin on the bottom of your heels becomes dry and thick. Combined with increased pressure on the heels, the skin develops cracks—also known as heel fissures—that can worsen over time, which can make it painful for you to walk or stand. Your cracked heels may bleed, and their unsightly appearance may even cause you to feel frustrated or embarrassed.

How Do You Get Cracked Heels?

Cracked heels can be blamed on dry skin. Anyone can get cracked heels, but older adults tend to be more susceptible due to a natural decrease in oil production. Athletes—including runners and swimmers—are also prone to cracked heels.

Other causes of cracked heels include cold weather, prolonged standing, ill-fitting shoes, and open-heeled footwear such as sandals and flip-flops. Taking hot baths or showers and using harsh soaps can also lead to dry skin and, in turn, the formation of cracks in one or both heels.

The good news is that dry skin can be not only prevented but also remedied. If your cracked heels are causing you embarrassment and/or discomfort, consider the following simple remedies that can effectively target this area of dry skin.

What Can be Done to Heal Cracked Heels?

Dr. Kevin F. Sunshein recommends the following simple remedies for cracked heels:

Wear Socks

Socks keep your feet cool, dry, and comfortable. They also do a great job of wicking excess moisture away from your skin. Moisture control is important when it comes to preventing cracked heels. In addition, socks create a protective barrier between your heels and shoes, reducing friction and preventing further irritation.

Use Moisturizers

Applying moisturizers to your dry heels in the mornings and evenings can work wonders when it comes to promoting healing. Castor oil and petroleum jelly are heavy and creamy, making them ideal for cracked heels.

When you do moisturize your heels, don’t forget to make sure that your skin is both clean and dry—otherwise, the water on your skin can dilute the ingredients and make it difficult for the moisturizer to penetrate your skin.

We kindly remind you that we keep our in-store shop stocked with moisturizers that Dr. Sunshein considers ideal for dry heels. You can visit our in-store shop and peruse our selection during our regular business hours, which are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays. Our inventory list is also available for viewing on our website. If you have any questions about moisturizers for your dry skin and cracked heels, we’d be happy to help!

Pumice Stones

The purpose of pumice stones is to remove dead skin cells across the surface of your heels. A type of natural volcanic rock, pumice stones exfoliate your cracked heels and soften the skin.

Pumice stones make it possible for your moisturizer to quickly penetrate the skin and properly hydrate those hurting heels. Keep in mind that when you use a pumice stone, you’ll want to rub the area gently and avoid over-exfoliating.

Wear Proper Shoes

Some footwear choices—sandals, for example—are not recommended if you have cracked heels. Instead, shop for supportive sneakers that will provide the cushioning your heels need. Ample cushioning can also help prevent cracks from deepening.

Contact Our Office for Professional Help

Dr. Sunshein is well-versed in all kinds of foot and ankle conditions, including cracked heels. If your dry heels are not responding to the above remedies, please schedule an appointment so Dr. Sunshein can carefully evaluate your cracked heels and create a treatment plan designed to alleviate your discomfort and help your heels heal.

Feet on road with cracked heels

How Do You Prevent Cracked Heels in the Future?

If you have cracked heels, are prone to cracked heels, or simply want to avoid cracks from developing, here are some tips to help prevent cracks in your heels from forming:

  • Be sure to wear socks and supportive sneakers.
  • Moisturize and exfoliate your feet regularly.
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day.
  • Use mild soap to wash your feet every day.
  • Take a few minutes each day to inspect your feet.

Inspecting your feet every day is so that you can observe any visible changes that may need to be addressed by our trusted podiatrist. This is especially important if you have diabetes and/or neuropathy.

Get Relief from Cracked Heels and Other Skin Conditions Today!

Sunshein Podiatry Associates is committed to providing superior foot and ankle care to you and your family. Our office is conveniently located at 6474 Centerville Business Parkway in Centerville, Ohio.

Whether you have cracked heels, an acute foot or ankle injury, or have developed a chronic foot or ankle condition, Dr. Sunshein can give you the answers you seek and the appropriate treatment you need.

We are pleased to welcome both new and returning patients to our podiatry practice. Whether you’re visiting us for the first time or returning for ongoing care, Dr. Sunshein strives to provide personalized and compassionate care that will meet your unique needs and promote the overall health of your feet.

Please contact our office today by calling 937-435-7477 or by submitting an online contact form. We are so proud to serve patients of all ages across the greater Dayton region!

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