Dry Or Cracked Skin Conditions.

Dry Cracked heels

Dry, cracked skin on the heels, occurs when the skin thickens (calluses) and fissuring (cracking on the bottom of the heel) occurs. Anyone can develop cracked heels but you are more prone to this if you walk barefoot, or wear shoes that expose their heels .There presentation can be mild or become a more serious problem causing significant pain if left untreated.

Cracked Heel Symptoms

The most common symptoms associated with cracked heels are:

  • Itchy skin
  • Dry, flaky skin
  • Pain while walking
  • Redness of heel
  • Hard growth of skin on outer edge of heel
  • Yellow or darkened skin on heel
  • Pain that increases when wearing thin soles or open-backed shoes
  • Cracks progressively worsen, deepening and growing longer

    Diagnosing Cracked Heels

    Our podiatrist will check for cracked heels or deep long cracks known as fissures, as well as any signs infections or diseases.

    What Causes Cracked Heels?

    There are many different causes of cracked heels. Some are more common than others:

  • Decreased function of the sweat glands
  • Dry skin
  • Obesity
  • Walking barefoot
  • Wearing sandals or open-back shoes often
  • Athlete‚Äôs foot
  • Diabetes
  • Faulty foot mechanics, such as may be caused by excessively high arches or flat feet
  • Thyroid disease
  • Psoriasis or other types of skin conditions
  • Prolonged standing, especially on hard surfaces
  • Improper footwear
  • Aging: our skin becomes thin and dry with age


    Treatment plans are often dictated by the severity and cause of the cracked heels. Initial treatment is often focused preventing the cracked skin or fissures, which are vulnerable to infection. Treating cracked heels is easiest before the cracks become deep, painful, and bloody. Treatment options for cracked heels include:

  • Removing the hard, thick skin with a scalpel to promote healing
  • Special creams to moisturize (usually recommended twice daily)
  • Orthotics or arch supports to improve foot mechanics to decrease friction
  • Pumice stone, to be used daily after soaking
  • Wearing shoes that have closed heels

    Moisturizers may also be suggested to hydrate the skin. Topical antibiotics or antifungals may also be required if your condition is more serious.

    At First Step Clinic we recommend you have your condition evaluated by our podiatrist to create an appropriate treatment plan .