What Causes Cracked Heels?

Learn More About This Condition

When the sensitive skin on the bottom of the feet and heels becomes too dry, it can split open, leaving painful cracks called fissures on your heels. Those cracks may not only make it painful to walk, but can also lead to serious infections.

Cracked Heels: How They Happen

Cracks in the heels are generally caused by insufficient moisture. These cracks can become sore and may even bleed. Seriously dry feet can occur for a number of reasons, including:

  • Cold winter weather
  • Dehydration, or not drinking enough water
  • Not moisturizing your feet
  • Taking very hot baths or showers
  • Soaking in a hot bath for too long or too frequently
  • Using harsh, drying soaps on your feet
  • Scrubbing feet dry
  • Having diabetes


When the feet become too dry, heel fissures can develop quite easily. "It's kind of like if you put plaster on a balloon and let it harden and blow up the balloon, the balloon will expand the plaster and crack. The heel pad wants to expand outward, but the skin is not pliable enough to expand with it, so it cracks.

The two biggest risk factors for cracked heels are diabetes and obesity.

If your heels are cracked and painful, and the condition doesn't improve with an over-the-counter foot lotion, visit us to treat this problem.

Source: everydayhealth


RIVERA FOOT & ANKLE: At Orlando H.Rivera DPM, our priority is to deliver quality care to informed patients in a comfortable and convenient setting. When you have problems with your feet, you need to turn to a podiatrist who listens and responds… an experienced doctor who knows the field and can effectively diagnose and treat your needs… a friendly physician who counsels you on the best ways to maintain and improve your health. Our physician(s) meet all these criteria. Plus, you benefit from a dedicated team of trained professionals who give you the individualized attention you deserve.

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