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How To Treat Cracked Heels


Cracked heels are a prevalent foot problem in adults and children. The term 'Cracked Heels' refers to the dry, thickened skin around the rim of the heel, often accompanied by yellow or brown calluses. Though not a severe issue, it can often cause a decent amount of pain if left unattended. The cracks can become more profound and, at some point, may become infected. Therefore, if afflicted, it is essential to review the causes and treatment of this problem.


Common causes of cracked heels include:

  • Dry, cold weather

  • Standing for long periods

  • Taking long, hot baths or showers

  • Using harsh, drying soaps on your feet

  • Wearing open-heeled footwear such as sandals

Medical causes of cracked heels include:

  • Athlete's foot

  • Diabetes

  • Eczema

  • Flat feet

  • Heel spurs, bone protrusions on the bottom of your heel

  • Hypothyroidism - a condition in which your thyroid doesn't make enough of certain hormones

  • Obesity

Home treatment for cracked heels

In most cases, cracked heels can be treated at home by following these steps:

  1. Soak your feet in warm soapy water for 20 to 25 minutes

  2. Use a loofah, foot scrubber, or pumice stone to remove dead skin

  3. Dry your feet thoroughly

  4. Apply a thick moisturizer or heel balm to your dry feet

  5. Put on a pair of thick socks to keep the moisture in

Afterward, begin a new healthy habit of moisturizing your feet twice daily. Look for moisturizers that contain ingredients that assist in dissolving dead skin and retaining moisture, like glycolic acid, hyaluronic acid, jojoba oil, and shea butter.


When should you see a podiatrist for cracked heels?

If you do not see improvement after a week of treatment or if your heels are severely cracked, you should talk to your podiatrist.


If you need assistance with any foot conditions, Affiliated Foot and Ankle Specialists are here to help! Contact us to schedule an appointment or call us at (973) 365-2208.

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