Preventing and Treating Cracked Heels

If the skin on the feet becomes very dry, heel cracks can happen. These heel cracks are unattractive, and can be embarrassing. Worse, they frequently cause sharp pain. The good news from Podiatry Group of Annapolis, P.A. is that they are easily prevented and treated.


Also known as heel fissures, heel cracks are very common, especially in the cooler months. Preventing heel cracks can be easier than healing them. Here are some suggestions from Dr. James M. McKee:


1.     Use a pumice stone to reduce and remove the buildup of calluses.  These are easily purchased at any drug store. Do not use a razor or anything with a blade for this purpose!

2.     Moisturize your heels twice daily, especially after showering or bathing.

3.     Use an exfoliating lotion on your feet once every week.

4.     Dry skin is an indicator or overall dehydration. Keep yourself well hydrated from the inside out.  Drink plenty of water and other non-caffeinated beverages.

5.     Eat a balanced, healthy diet. Remember to get at least five servings of fruits and vegetables every day to keep your diet balanced and high in vitamins and minerals.


Heel cracks are caused by numerous factors. They most frequently occur in winter, when the air is dry, but can happen any time of year. Can you increase the humidity in your home? Long periods of time standing at work or at home, especially on hard wooden or tiled floors, lead to heal cracks. Take a break when possible! Spending long periods of time barefoot or in open shoes while indoors can be problematic. Invest in some good slippers. Poorly fitted shoes that don’t offer good support to the heel are tough on your feet. Maybe it’s time to trade in that ratty old pair of sneakers for something newer and more high tech. Circulation issues, including diabetes, and excess weight, which can cause the heel to expand and the skin to split, lead to higher risk, as do hormonal imbalances, poor hygiene, and poor nutrition.


If the skin on your feet gets very dry and a small crack develops, try this solution from James M. McKee, DPM, FACFAS:


1.     Take a bath or shower, or soak your feet in a tub of warm water.

2.     Dry your feet well.

3.     Apply a thin layer of heavy cream or petroleum jelly and wear pair of cotton socks overnight.


Are you concerned about heel cracks or other foot health issues? Dr. James M. McKee and the friendly staff at Podiatry Group of Annapolis, P.A. are ready to help! Call us at 410-224-4448 or click here to make a convenient appointment today. Our Annapolis office is equipped with state of the art equipment and our doctor has years of training and experience.  He can heal those cracks and get you back on your feet right away.