Dry Cracked Heels

Tuesday, 19 September 2017  |  Admin


When the skin on the heels becomes dry, usually this is a cosmetic problem. But in some cases, cracks (fissures) occur, which can lead to bleeding, leaving the skin very sore. Wearing the wrong footwear can contribute to this condition.


  • Discolouring of the heel, in most cases yellow
  • A hard growth of skin, especially on the outer edge of the heel
  • Cracks and bleeding
  • Pain while walking 

Causes of Cracked Heels

  • Walking around barefooted or in footwear such as thongs, sling or open backed sandals which drys out the feet  
  • Genetics. Skin type is often genetic. Some heels get thick very thick callus but don't crack where as others have no callus at all but crack badly after a day on the beach.
  • Long standing at work or home, especially on hard floors
  • Increased weight which causes increased pressure on the heels causing callus. With increased weight the heel is also required expand more and hence can often crack more.
  • Ill fitting shoes or sandals that don't support the heels from expanding sideways under pressure.
  • Unhygienic circumstances or conditions as well as fungal infections/tinea
  • Unhealthy, dry scaly skin that can be caused by climate, such as low humidity during dry summers or cold winters
  • Deficiency of vitamins, minerals, zinc and malnutrition.
  • Hormonal Conditions such as thyroid or estrogen imbalances.
  • Circulation problems.

Treatment & Prevention

  • Using a good foot care cream and regular use of a foot dresser can help prevent the skin becoming rough and hard.
  • To help reduce stress in some severe cases, a soft density gel heel pad is advisable, as this can help protect the heel.
  • Wear closed in shoes and good socks when you can.
  •  Drink plenty of water to keep skin hydrated.