What to About Dry, Cracked Heels

At Montgomery Foot Care Specialists, in Alabama’s river region, our patients often complain of cracked heels. Heels become dry and cracked for many reasons. Having naturally dry skin is the most obvious. But you’re also prone to heel cracks if you

  • spend a lot of time standing
  • naturally, walk in such a way that there’s a lot of pressure on your heels
  • are overweight (more pressure on your heels)
  • wear open-backed shoes, which puts pressure on the heel’s fat pad, causing it to expand sideways
  • have certain medical problems such as neuropathy (common among diabetics), an underactive thyroid, or one of two underlying skin conditions, psoriasis and eczema.

The cosmetic fix you can do at home

For many people, heel cracks (sometimes called heel fissures) merely pose a cosmetic problem. There’s no danger in some rough heel skin. You’d simply rather have heels that look smooth and moist. Anyone in this group can combat the dryness with this daily regimen:

  • soften your heels by soaking them in warm water
  • gently smooth out the skin using a pumice stone
  • apply a thick moisturizing cream.

When home remedies don’t help

Somewhat dry and cracked is one thing, but if your heels have thick calluses, deep fissures that won’t heal, cracks that bleed, or signs of infection such as redness and pain, seek professional care from our expert podiatrists, Dr. Heidi M. Christie, and Dr. Chanda L. Day-Houts. We can safely remove hard, thick skin through a process called debriding, encourage cracks to heal by strapping them, and offer you custom shoe inserts to reduce pressure.

Contact our Montgomery podiatry office if your heels don’t improve, if they’re especially painful or bleeding, or if you have diabetes. Make an appointment online or call us in Montgomery at (334) 396-3668.