Heel cracks cause & remedies

Cracked heel is common foot problem in which the skin on the heel of the foot becomes thickening and fissuring. Cracked heels are symptom of lack of attention to foot care. In medical terms, cracked heels are also known as heel fissures. If cracked heels are not treated at an early stage, it can be very painful. In the beginning, they appear like thin lines under foot. Walking may become difficult as they deepen. These lines appear on the heel when the heel skin turns dry and scaly. Bleeding starts from these cracks in extreme cases and the pain also intensifies.

What Causes Cracked Heels?

Some people have naturally dry skin which is responsible for cracked heels. Dry skin which is thickened may crack due to mechanical factors like increased pressures in that area (eg the way you walk).

The most common causes of Cracked Heels are:

  • Dry skin
  • Inactive sweat glands
  • Improperly fitting shoes
  • Wearing shoes with an open back
  • High arched feet
  • Flat feet
  • Surgery to the lower extremities
  • Mal-aligment of the metatarsal bones
  • Prolonged standing
  • Heel Spurs
  • Obesity
  • Thyroid disease
  • Diabetes
  • Psoriasis
  • Athlete’s foot

Symptoms of cracked heels:

Most common symptoms of cracked heels are:

  • Peeling and cracked skin
  • Yellow or dark skin on the heel
  • Itchy skin
  • Red or flaky patches on the heel of the foot
  • Hard growth of skin on the outer edge of the heel
  • Pain while walking
  • Increased pain in thin soles or open back shoes

The symptoms may worsen by wearing open or thin soled shoes.

Cracked heel remedies:

It is best to start the treatment of cracked foot at a preliminary stage and for that it is necessary to take proper care of feet. Feet also need to be coddled same as the skin of the other parts of body.

Home remedies:

  • Warm Water and Pumice Stone:
    • Warm water is the best remedy. It helps to soften the tough skin on the heels. By the use of pumice stone, soft skin is easily removed. You can also use sandpaper instead of pumice stone. You can wrap sand paper on a small block of wood that easily to fit in the palm of your hand.
  • Shortening:
    • Same as moisturizer or lotion, apply a generous coating of lard or shortening. To prevent the escaping of shortening, wear thick socks and leave it overnight. Continue to do this steps each night until your heels look better. You can also use hydrogenated vegetable oil instead of shortening.
  • Ripe Banana:
    • Ripe banana is also helpful for treating heel fissures. Apply the smash of the ripe banana on heel. Leave it on for about 15 minutes, and then wipe off. Wear a protective sock over the foot for more relief.
  • Sudsy Water:
    • Sudsy Water is prepared with soap and warm water. Soak your feet every night for 15 to 20 minutes in warm and then dry completely. Don’t scrub your feet with the pumice stone during the soaking phase.
  • Moisturizers:
    • In any department store or drugstore, moisturizers for cracked heels can be availed. Moisturizing lotions which are specially formulated for excessively dry skin will work best. Ask a dermatologist to provide a prescription-strength moisturizer in extreme cases. Soak your feet for 15 minutes in a foot bath to hydrate the skin for best results and then apply moisturizer after completely drying of the feet.

Medical Treatment:

If heel fissures are very painful and bleeding also takes place, look for medical treatment immediately. If there is more serious underlying problem, such as an under active thyroid, diabetes or psoriasis, your doctor can diagnose this.

Prevention tips for cracked heels:

Moisturizing the feet commonly can prevent heel fissures. Besides keeping your feet moisturized, other ways are also available to prevent them. Avoid walking around barefoot for extended periods of time and wear shoes that offer support to foot and heel when standing for a long time. Also, you can use a pumice stone daily to gently decrease the thick and flaky layer of skin after occurring of cracked heels.


4 Comments
  1. Laura Says:

    i m tired of this dry,cracked feet hassle….now i don’t want to do anything!! lollll!!!

  2. Esmesha Says:

    Vinegar condensed with warm water helps much. Should try. Soak foot for small distance and pat dry with soft towel. Rub gentle lotion on foot, preferably with aloe. Works good.

  3. Julia Says:

    If you put plastic bags over your feet (like target or grocery store bags) after you slather them with a lot of lotion, and then put the socks on, your feet will feel a lot better.

  4. nomtha Says:

    It is said that the more u cut the callus the more it grows back? On the hands wen we do the nails,it is also said that never cut cuticles bt clients wants us 2 cut and we do cut.we might as well cut the callus.

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