Understanding the Root Causes of Cracked Heels and Remedies for Cracked Heels

Cracked heels, also known as heel fissures, are a common foot ailment that can be painful and unsightly. While they may seem like a minor issue, understanding the underlying causes is essential for prevention and effective treatment. In this comprehensive article, we’ll delve into the various factors that lead to cracked heels and explore practical remedies to help you maintain smooth and healthy feet. Understanding the Root Causes of Cracked Heels

What Are Cracked Heels?

Cracked heels are a condition where the skin around the edges of your heels becomes dry, thickened, and starts to split. These fissures can range from small, superficial cracks to deep, painful openings. Besides being a cosmetic concern, cracked heels can lead to discomfort, pain, and even infection if left untreated.

Cracked Heels

Common Causes of Cracked Heels

1. Dry Skin:

Lack of moisture is a primary cause of cracked heels. The skin on your feet is naturally dry, and factors like climate, harsh soaps, and dehydration can exacerbate this dryness.

2. Excessive Pressure:

Prolonged standing or walking can put excessive pressure on the fat pad under your heel. Over time, this can cause the skin to crack.

3. Improper Footwear:

Wearing open-back or ill-fitting shoes can contribute to the development of cracked heels. These shoes offer little support to the heels, making them more prone to cracking. 

4. Aging:

As we age, our skin loses its elasticity and ability to retain moisture. This makes older individuals more susceptible to cracked heels.

5. Medical Conditions:

Certain medical conditions like diabetes, psoriasis, and eczema can lead to dry skin and increase the risk of cracked heels.

6. Obesity:

Excess body weight puts added pressure on the feet, particularly the heels, which can lead to cracks in the skin.

Controls Obesity

Controls Obesity

7. Neglecting Foot Care:

Not moisturizing or exfoliating your feet regularly can make the skin on your heels more vulnerable to cracking.

Remedies for Cracked Heels

1. Hydration:

The most crucial step in preventing and treating cracked heels is to keep your feet well-hydrated. Apply a good-quality foot cream or moisturizer daily, especially after bathing.

Foot Care

Foot Care

2. Exfoliation:

Use a pumice stone or foot file to gently remove dead skin from your heels. Be cautious not to overdo it, as excessive scrubbing can worsen the condition.

3. Proper Footwear:

Invest in shoes that provide proper support and cushioning for your heels. Avoid open-back shoes, sandals, or high heels for extended periods.

4. Diet and Hydration:

Ensure you drink plenty of water and consume foods rich in essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals to promote healthy skin.

Are There Risks Taking Multivitamins?

Are There Risks Taking Multivitamins?

5. Regular Foot Checks:

If you have an underlying medical condition, consult a healthcare professional regularly and follow their advice.

6. Over-the-Counter Treatments:

Over-the-counter products like heel balms, silicone heel cups, and heel sleeves can help in the healing process.

7. Consult a Podiatrist:

If your cracked heels are severe, painful, or showing no improvement with home remedies, consult a podiatrist for professional guidance.


Cracked heels can be a pesky problem, but with the right care and attention, they can be prevented and treated effectively. Understanding the causes and taking proactive steps to maintain foot health can go a long way in ensuring your feet remain soft, smooth, and free from painful fissures. Don’t let cracked heels get in the way of your comfort and confidence; start implementing these remedies and lifestyle changes today.

Yaamini Radhakrishnan
Yaamini Radhakrishnan:I am a clinic research professional, graduate in biotechnology and post graduate in biochemistry. Have also pursued freelance writing since the past 5 years I am married and have a daughter. I am a native and reside at Bangalore.