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Are Your Heels Dry and Cracked?

It’s not uncommon to slip on a pair of sandals after a long winter only to discover dry and cracked heels. Find out what causes this, ways to promote healing, and the type of shoes to avoid if you want to prevent cracked heels in the future!

Dry and cold weather, prolonged standing and walking, and some types of footwear such as flip flops and other open-heeled shoes can all create cracks (also known as "fissures") in the skin of your heels. These simple, protective steps can help prevent further damage and promote healing:

  1. Exfoliate. Use a wet pumice stone in the shower and gently rub your heels and calluses. This will help reduce the thickness of the calluses and allow lotions to better penetrate these areas.
  2. Moisturize. Moisturizers can help resolve most small fissures, but if you have serious cracks, look for a product designed for feet and heels that has glycolic and/or salicylic acids, which may provide deeper penetration of the skin. Slather it on before bed, and then cover your feet with a pair of cotton socks.
  3. Choose appropriate footwear. Open-backed shoes such as flip-flops allow the skin in the heel area to expand and crack. Opt for closed-back shoes at least until your feet heel.