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Six fixes for cracked heels

Cracked heels, additionally known as heel fissures, are a standard foot situation, which may trigger discomfort and even ache. They outcome from dry pores and skin and are accompanied by thickened pores and skin, plus typically yellow or brown calluses across the heel edge.

Often, the one drawback with cracked heels is their look. However, in some instances, the situation may be extreme if the cracks turn out to be contaminated.

According to the National Foot Health Assessment 2012, 20 % of adults within the United States have skilled cracked pores and skin on their ft. Women have been 50 % extra more likely to report the situation than males.

If the cracks within the heels are deep, they are often painful, hurting when an individual stands up, they usually might typically bleed.

People ought to see a physician in the event that they expertise soreness, redness, swelling, or extreme ache in any space of the foot for various days.

In this text, we define some steps that may be taken at house to deal with and stop heel cracks in minor instances of the situation.

Home cures for cracked heels

cracked heels on a womans feet
Cracked heels or heel fissures are a standard foot situation which will have an effect on one fifth of adults within the U.S.

Moisturizing remedies within the type of lotions, lotions, and ointments may help retain moisture within the pores and skin. This might forestall the pores and skin from drying out and cracking. Moisturizing remedies also can assist repair pores and skin that’s already cracked.

In delicate instances of cracked heels, moisturizing two or 3 times per day might repair the issue. Rubbing any calluses gently with a pumice stone and making use of a moisturizer may also assist. However, watch out to not overuse the pumice stone, which may make cracked heels worse.

The following steps might assist deal with cracked heels:

1. Using an emollient or humectant moisturizer

Emollients penetrate the pores and skin and scale back water loss. They fill the gaps between pores and skin flakes, which makes the pores and skin really feel clean, mushy, and versatile. They assist to scale back water loss within the pores and skin.

Humectants penetrate the outer pores and skin layer, appeal to water from the air, and keep moisture. They additionally assist to extend the water capability of the pores and skin.

In dry circumstances, humectants might draw moisture from the decrease pores and skin layers as an alternative of from the environment. This might end in extra dehydrated pores and skin general. Combining a humectant with an occlusive might assist seal in moisture.

2. Applying an occlusive moisturizer excessive

Once the emollient or humectant is absorbed, individuals can apply a thick layer of an occlusive moisturizer excessive simply earlier than mattress to seal the moisture in.

Occlusive moisturizers coat the pores and skin in a skinny movie that forestalls moisture evaporating from the outermost layer of the pores and skin.

Examples of occlusive moisturizers embrace:

  • petroleum jelly
  • lanolin
  • mineral oil
  • silicones, reminiscent of dimethicone

Petroleum jelly is taken into account to be the simplest occlusive moisturizer, decreasing water loss from the outer pores and skin by greater than 98 %.

Although occlusives work properly to lock in moisture, they are often greasy, sticky, and messy.

three. Wearing 100 % cotton socks to mattress

Wearing 100 % cotton socks to mattress after making use of petroleum jelly to the heel might assist to:

  • hold the moisture in
  • permit the heel pores and skin to breathe
  • forestall the mattress sheets from turning into stained

The pores and skin on the heels ought to soften after this routine is repeated for a couple of days.

four. Applying a keratolytic to thickened pores and skin

When the heel pores and skin is thick, making use of a keratolytic might assist skinny it, in addition to the opposite remedies.

Keratolytics are brokers that skinny thickened pores and skin, trigger the outer pores and skin layer to loosen, and assist with removing of lifeless pores and skin cells. This course of permits the pores and skin to maintain in additional moisture.

Examples of keratolytics embrace:

  • alpha hydroxy acids, similar to lactic acid and glycolic acid
  • salicylic acid
  • urea

Products that include each keratolytics and humectants stands out as the most helpful.
For instance, urea is each a keratolytic and humectant that moisturizes and removes dry, cracked, and thickened pores and skin.

5. Gently rubbing thickened pores and skin with a pumice stone

Gently rubbing a pumice stone towards the heel, as soon as the pores and skin is moisturized, might assist scale back the thickness of the arduous pores and skin and calluses.

Razors and scissors ought to be prevented for scraping again and slicing pores and skin. People with diabetes or neuropathy shouldn’t use pumice stones and will as an alternative go to a dermatologist or podiatrist.

6. Using a liquid bandage

Liquid, gel, or spray bandages can be utilized to cowl the cracked pores and skin. These might present a protecting layer over the cracks, assist scale back ache, cease dust and germs getting into the injuries, and assist quicker therapeutic.

People ought to see a podiatrist or dermatologist if their heels are severely cracked, or if self-treatment doesn’t enhance cracked heels after every week.

Medical remedies

In extreme instances of cracked heels, or if medical care is required, a physician might:

  • take away lifeless pores and skin
  • prescribe stronger softening or removing brokers
  • apply medical glue to seal cracks
  • prescribe an antibiotic if there’s an an infection
  • strap the heel with dressings or bandages
  • advocate shoe inserts, heel pads, or heel cups
  • assist the affected person change how they stroll

Causes of cracked heels

ladies at a music festival
Cracked heels could also be brought on by weight problems, poorly becoming footwear, or standing for lengthy durations of time.

Dry pores and skin often causes cracked heels. When weight and strain are utilized to the fats pad beneath the heel, the pores and skin expands sideways. If the pores and skin is missing in moisture, it turns into stiff, much less elastic, and vulnerable to cracking.

Other causes embrace:

  • standing for lengthy durations of time, notably on arduous flooring
  • weight problems
  • open-back footwear
  • poorly becoming footwear
  • friction from the again of footwear
  • a poor approach of strolling
  • dry, chilly climate

Risk elements

Some circumstances make individuals extra more likely to have dry pores and skin and a larger danger of cracked heels. These embrace:

Preventing cracked heels

The following steps may help keep away from dry pores and skin on the ft, and heel cracks:

Avoiding baths and showers making dry heel pores and skin worse

People with dry pores and skin ought to purpose to:

  • keep away from scorching water, utilizing heat water as an alternative
  • restrict time in a shower or bathe to 5-10 minutes to keep away from extra moisture loss
  • use a fragrance-free, delicate cleanser
  • gently blot pores and skin with a towel to dry
  • apply a moisturizer instantly after drying

Applying a moisturizer to heels instantly after washing

After a shower, a bathe or a foot soak, individuals ought to instantly smother a moisturizer over the ft to lure in moisture. Ointments and lotions are simpler than lotions and irritate the pores and skin much less.

lady applying cream to foot
Moisturizing delicate instances of cracked heels two or 3 times a day might assist to alleviate signs.

The American Academy of Dermatology advocate making use of an ointment or cream that incorporates oil or shea butter for dry pores and skin. They additionally recommend that ointments and lotions containing the next, might soothe dry pores and skin:

  • lactic acid
  • urea
  • hyaluronic acid
  • glycerin
  • dimethicone
  • lanolin
  • petrolatum
  • mineral oil

Avoiding harsh soaps or scented skincare merchandise

While it is very important hold cracked heels clear, dry, and free from an infection, harsh soaps can dry out the pores and skin additional. Using a light cleanser helps hold extra moisture within the pores and skin of the heel.

There are additionally emollient merchandise that can be utilized within the tub and bathe as an alternative of cleaning soap.

Skin care merchandise that include perfume, alcohol, retinoids, or alpha hydroxy acid can typically be too harsh for dry, delicate pores and skin. Avoiding these merchandise might shield the pores and skin’s pure oils.

Wearing closed-heeled footwear

Wearing footwear or boots with a closed heel will help heal and stop cracks to the again of the foot. Shoes with closed heels with cushioning give help to the problematic space. People ought to keep away from open-heeled footwear, these with skinny soles, and ill-fitting footwear.

Wearing padded socks, footwear with a non-slip sole, and inserts or orthotics advisable by a foot health skilled may shield the tender tissue of the foot.

Wearing cotton socks with footwear might assist scale back friction as properly. They may also take in sweat and moisture, permit the pores and skin to breathe, and assist forestall the pores and skin drying out.


Cracked heels might be handled shortly and simply at residence with moisturizers and merchandise that skinny the pores and skin. To forestall cracked heels, individuals ought to be sure that a moisturizer is utilized day by day to the ft to stop them drying out.

People ought to by no means attempt to deal with cracked heels at residence if they’re related to a medical situation. Instead, they need to search the recommendation of a physician.

If the cracks are extreme, it is very important get the recommendation of a specialist to stop the injuries turning into contaminated.

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