What causes cracked heels?

The cracked skin that you may get around the edges the heels can be a painful condition if it is allowed to develop. This problem occurs when the skin around the backs of the heel is dryer and thicker than it should ordinarily be. As the callus increases to make that dry thicker skin, it just cracks as it is not too supple or adaptable. The split that happens in the hard skin, then attempts to split or rip the normal skin beneath it. In the worst cases, this will become painful, may bleed and be an for an infection, so does need to be given serious attention. The reason behind these cracked heels is not really completely understood. Many people just have a tendency to have a dryer skin and some people, because of the way that they walk have a tendency to build up the callus around the sides of the heel. Being overweight is another risk factor for cracked heels. Shoes which are open at the back are also considered to be a risk factor for cracked heels.

The ideal way to deal with the  cracked heels is to find an expert podiatrist to remove the thicker hard skin and then use an emollient to soften the rest of the skin. You could try and remove that skin yourself with something like a pumice stone or file, but that is a lot of effort and needs to be carried out a lot. The emollient ointment used after this should be put on a regular basis to keep the skin well moisturized and flexible. There quite a bit of thoughts and opinions of what is the ideal cream or emollient to use is and the best solution is the one which suits your skin. A bit of experimentation may be required to find the best one. For cracked heels most podiatrists usually recommend starting with a urea based lotion.