Cracked heels mean your skin is screaming for moisture. When skin on the feet becomes so dry that it cracks, you know you’ve got a serious dry skin problem. Cracked heels need some serious moisture fast to prevent pain, bleeding, and infection.
“You’ve got to keep skin well moisturized,” says Alan K. Mauser, DPM, a podiatrist in Louisville, KY. “You’ve got to reduce the callus tissue either manually or chemically. Sometimes you can put medication on there that reduces the callus tissue, but it’s a constant diligent job to keep your skin moisturized.”
Cracked Heels: Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize
Cracked heels occur for one main reason — the skin on your heels is just too dry to support the immense pressure on them. So when the foot expands, that dry, callused skin on your heels just splits. The best possible treatment for cracked heels is to get some moisture back in those feet, right away!
And it’s not just so your feet look pretty: cracked heels can pose a serious foot problem if the cracks or fissures open too much and allow for an infection to develop.
How to Treat Cracked Heels
Here’s how you can keep your heels crack-free:
- Invest in a good foot cream. Look for rich, heavy moisturizing creams or even oils to rub into your dry feet.
- Try petroleum jelly. It may take a while to soak in, but petroleum jelly is a good way to restore moisture to cracked heels. Try coating your feet in petroleum jelly at night before bed, slip on some comfy socks, and let it soak in overnight while you are asleep.
- Ease off the soaps. It’s important to keep cracked heels clean and dry, but a harsh soap can keep drying out those feet. Use a gentle, mild cleanser that won’t strip more moisture out of your feet.
If you spot any signs of infection (soreness, redness, or swelling) around a dry, cracked area, you should get to a podiatrist. And people with diabetes should always have any foot condition checked out by a podiatrist.
The good news is with some extra effort and some pampering, you can get cracked heel skin cleared up rather quickly.