If you have ever suffered from dry, cracked heels, you may remember how painful they can be. If our skin is dry, it becomes less elastic and rigid and, therefore, more prone to fissures and cracking.

Cracked heels usually begin with thin lines appearing on your skin, in addition to excessive dryness and sometimes callus build-up. Gradually, the skin thickens further and discolours, becoming white, yellow or brown, with the edge of the heel being particularly badly affected. These thin lines can then become cracked, and the pressure exerted on your heels when you stand or move around forces the dry, inflexible skin to split further. In severe cases, cracked heels bleed and can be very painful to walk on.

Risk Factors For Cracked Heels

There are certain factors that make people more vulnerable to cracked heels; these include:

  • Dry skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis
  • Obesity (weight gain increases the pressure exerted on the heels)
  • Diabetes (nerve damage, poor circulation and excess blood sugar makes the skin drier)
  • Athlete’s foot (some types of the fungus can make heels flaky)
  • Standing or walking on hard surfaces for long periods of time
  • Poorly fitting shoes

What Is The Best Way To Treat My Heels At Home?

The following are the most effective ways to treat cracked heels at home:

  • At least once a day, use a moisturiser on your heels when they are clean and dry, preferably one with Urea in it
  • Use a pumice stone or emery board to reduce hard skin build-up on your heels
  • Wear appropriate footwear (shoes AND socks)