Splits in the skin at the back and sides of the heel are unattractive and can be painful. These are fairly common, particularly in those who are predisposed to them because of having the risk factors. These types of cracks in the skin around the heel occur when the skin is tends to be both thicker and dryer. As the fat pad underneath the heel expands out sideways when walking this puts strain on the skin that it can not take, so the skin just tears or cracks. The use of open back shoes also plays a role in the cracked heels by allowing that fat pad to bulge. Some medical conditions might also contribute to the dryness of the skin and a number of biomechanical issues contribute to the thickening of the skin.
When a crack happens, it will need to be taken care of properly as it could act as a portal for an infection to get in and spread. Firstly, an antiseptic needs to be used to help avoid that from happening if the split is open. It is next necessary to take off the thick callus around the periphery of the heel. This can be undertaken by an experienced podiatrist for those who have access to one. Otherwise, you will want to use something such as a foot file, pumice stone or emery board and get to work on reducing it. This can take a lot of effort. As soon as that thickened skin is taken care of, then it’s important to use creams and ointments to help make the skin soft and adaptable so it does not have the tendency to crack
. Urea based lotions are typically much better for that. Once this initial problem is dealt with, then preventative approaches need to be put in place to continue with otherwise the cracked heels
probably will happen again. Regular use of a foot file or similar is recommended to keep the callused skin down and regular use of a urea based ointment is important to help make the skin resilient to splitting and stop the dryness. Keeping away from open back footwear is also encouraged.