Ask The Experts

What can I put on dry cracked heels?

Thank you for contacting us. Cracked heels typically result from dry skin (xerosis) and are more difficult to treat if the skin around the heel is thickened or callused. It's not usually a serious problem, but deep cracks or fissures in the skin can be painful, and in severe cases, the cracks can become infected. It's a fairly common condition - 20% of US adults report having experienced cracked skin on their feet. A foot care professional can advise you on what kind of moisturizers to use to help reduce the dry skin that causes the cracking. Over-the-counter moisturizers are readily available. If your case is severe, he or she might recommend a prescription strength formulation. Properly designed footwear can help prevent heel cracks. Good solid heel counters in the rear of the shoe or boot help protect the heel. Avoid open-heeled shoes, which expose your skin to air and can exacerbate the condition. To ensure that feet are optimally protected, IPFH suggests wearing padded socks with shoes. A pumice stone can be used to reduce the thickness of calluses and hard skin caused by the condition. BUT people with diabetes and/or neuropathy should NEVER attempt to scrape or cut the skin of their feet with pumice stones, razors or scissors due to the risk of infection. Instead, see a medical professional for treatment. You can learn more about cracked heels at our foot conditions article on the subject. We hope this helps, and we wish you a quick resolution for your condition.

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