Best Tips & Tricks for Cracked Heels

November 18, 2022

Want to get rid of cracked heels? Find out how to incorporate these simple habits with the help of adequate creams for dry and scaly feet.

When it comes to skincare, most attention is given to the visible parts of the body, especially the face and other areas such as arms, hands, and legs, leaving feet relegated to the background.

The truth is that foot care is not only beneficial for the overall health of the skin, but it is also essential for the overall well-being of the human body. 

These two body parts are responsible for supporting the daily weight and continuous friction when walking, as well as receiving the impact of other daily activities.

Poor care and dehydration of the skin of the feet can lead to cracked heels, which is usually a very annoying and painful problem. 

Although this condition is more frequent in summer, it can occur throughout the year. This is why it is necessary to know not only the different reasons why cracked feet develop but also define what routine to follow to improve their hydration and appearance.

Why do I get cracked heels?

The first thing to know is that the skin on the feet has different characteristics than the skin on the rest of the body, and this is partly a big reason why dry, cracked heels develop. 

The skin of the foot, specifically the sole, is much thicker than in any other area, which means that it has a greater number of fat cells linked together that give it its thickness. However, this area is particularly poor in sebum substances, which greatly hinders the skin's moisturizing function.

Thus, cracked feet become evident after a rupture of the tissue when it is too dry. Being such a thick area, the skin tears perpendicularly, which sometimes leads to pain and even bleeding.

Some of the causes that contribute to dryness and cracking of the feet are the following:

  • Footwear: using inappropriate footwear is one of the main risk factors for cracked feet. The skin tends to dry out more in the areas where it receives more pressure, generally, the heel, so excessively high heels can be a bad ally. In addition, sandals and other uncovered shoes contribute to dryness, hence the problem appears especially in summer.

  • Walking barefoot: walking barefoot on the beach can be beneficial for the health of the feet, but if you walk without shoes daily, the skin will eventually resist.

  • Overweight: excess weight causes the skin of the feet to have to withstand more pressure, which will hinder the blood supply and the consequent supply of nutrients to the last layers of the dermis. This can easily lead to flaking and cracking of the heels.

  • Spending a lot of time on your feet: something similar to the above occurs with people who have to spend a lot of time on their feet, as the pressure on the feet increases and the skin feels the effects.

  • Smoking: Smoking causes dry skin, which does not contribute to the health of the heels.

  • The sun: the feet are usually the forgotten ones when it comes to sun protection, but radiation also affects them. It is necessary to apply sunscreen, just as on the rest of the body. In addition, exposure to the agents of the swimming pool and the remains of sea salt also dry out the skin.

  • Diabetes: certain diseases such as diabetes or circulatory problems cause a lack of hydration in the skin, which can also cause the appearance of cracks in the feet.

Other factors that can play a role are the shape of the foot, the type of stride, and cold weather.

Good habits to avoid dry, cracked heels

The main recommendation to preserve the health of the skin of the feet is to pay more attention to their care. With basic prevention and moisturizing routines, you can avoid the development of deeper cracks and reduce the risk of infection. Some of the most recommended measures are:

  • Wear appropriate shoes: they should be comfortable and roomy. The sole should contribute to the cushioning of the foot. If they have a heel, do not exceed 2 inches.

  • Establish a daily moisturizing routine before going to bed: apply a cream for cracked feet and sleep with cotton socks to keep them moisturized. Dry-feet moisturizing creams are elaborated with a non-greasy formula, which also combines essential ceramides and hyaluronic acid, which helps to effectively moisturize and repair the protective barrier of the skin on the feet.

  • Use products that do not affect the pH of the skin: chemicals and perfumes could irritate.

  • Maintain a balanced diet and good hydration: drinking plenty of water, natural juices, and infusions are also essential to maintain healthy skin.

  • Lastly, do not file cracked heels without first consulting a podiatrist or dermatologist, as this could be counterproductive and lead to further peeling of the skin.

Final Word

Our feet are the most abandoned body part skincare-wise, and at the same time, they cope with our body weight, inadequate footwear, excessive pressure, constant damage, and lack of moisturizing. 

Proper hydration, regular use of moisturizing creams, and comfy shoes are the best way to keep your heels from cracking and extreme dryness.