Our skin is like a human shield; it protects you from dirt and infections – but it can’t protect you properly if it’s injured. Cracked skin is one such ailment. It’s painful, and can be damaging to your self-esteem. Cracked heels are little splits in the skin around the heel – find out how moisturising and some other simple tricks can help. Read on to learn what a cracked heel is and how to fight it. 

Why do heels crack?

Cracked heels, or heel fissures, are splits in the skin around the heel. When pressure is put onto the heel from our body weight while walking and standing, the skin needs to stretch and spread out a little. A mixture of dryness and pressure lead to cracked heels, as the skin becomes unable to keep up moisture levels and ultimately becomes fragile. Cracked heels are caused when the skin around your heels splits apart.

What are the symptoms for cracked heels?

In the initial stage of the condition, the heel starts to feel tight when placed under any kind of strain. Intense dryness, itching and tenderness of the skin are often the first signals of the problem. The affected area can turn yellow or brown in colour and tends to harden significantly.

In its more advanced stage, the heel may become so dry that it turns white, yellowish, or red in colour and begins to flake. Cracks can deepen to the extent that the mere act of walking becomes incredibly difficult. If left untreated, cracked heels may start to bleed and become infected.

How to deal with cracked heels

There are various remedies available to tackle dry feet and cracked heels. For cracked heels, try a moisturising treatment containing urea and lanolin. The regular use of a file can also help you get smooth and soft heels. If a fissure is very deep or painful, you should see your healthcare professional.

What can I do to help prevent cracked heels?

When it comes to cracked skin, taking care of your feet regularly is always better than a cure. It’s important that you give your feet the same care and attention that you’d give the rest of your body. For example, you should stay hydrated to help moisturise your body.

  • Soften hard skin quickly by soaking your feet in warm water.
  • Remember to wear shoes that protect and support the foot and avoid shoes that are too loose or tight.
  • Limit open footwear as much as much as possible. This is because, closed in footwear will help your skin to retain its moisture.