Cracked Heels

by Jessica Wright
(last updated February 26, 2020)

Do you want to wear sandals, but your cracked heels are just too embarrassing? Cracked heels can be both painful and unattractive. With just a little bit of attention to your feet and with some time you will soon find those painful cracked heels will be gone and you will be enjoying that favorite pair of sandals once again.

Usually, when a person has cracked heels it is because of a lack of care and attention given to the feet. It is not something that just happens; it takes time and neglect for the heels to get to the point that they are cracked (unless there is a medical condition).

You can tell that you have cracked heels by some of the signs and symptoms. When the heels begin to crack you will be able to both see and feel the cracks. If the cracks are bad enough there will be pain when walking, and they may even start to bleed.

There are several different factors that causes cracked heels:

  • Usually, very dry skin leads to cracked skin especially on the heels.
  • If you happen to go barefoot or wear open-back shoes it can add to the problem or possibly even start the problem.
  • Standing too long on hard surfaces, whether it is at home or at work, can actually create the problem, especially if you aren't wearing sturdy shoes.
  • Being heavy (overweight) causes extra pressure on the fat pad under the feet, causing the heel to expand. Without giving attention to the feet and heels this can lead to cracks in the heels.
  • The way that you walk also adds to the problem. If you have a tendency to walk more on the sides of your feet, this can cause calluses on the sides of your heels, which can, with time, cause cracked heels.
  • Unfortunately, medical conditions such as athlete's foot, psoriasis, eczema, and thyroid disease will contribute to cracked heels. Cracked heels seem to be a problem also with diabetics and those with bad circulation need to watch closely.

The longer you go without treating the condition, the harder it will be to get rid of those painful cracked heels. With some time and attention given to your feet and heels, those cracks should be gone in short order. Here are some things that can be done to care for your feet that can lead to having crack-free heels:

  • An inexpensive and effective way to heal cracked heels is to use petroleum jelly. Apply to your clean feet every night before going to bed. Massage the jelly into your feet. Then wear a pair of clean socks thru the night. In just a few days there will be a noticeable difference.
  • At night soak your feet for about 15 minutes in warm soapy water and pat your feet dry. Apply a thick coat of shortening or hydrogenated vegetable oil to the feet, then put on a pair of clean thick socks. Leave the application on all night. After a few days you should begin to see results.
  • Keep feet clean. This is one of the reasons that going barefoot or wearing sandals can cause the problem in the first place. The dirt gets on your heels and starts to dry the skin on your heels, which then causes the dry skin to break. If you are going to go barefoot or with sandals, find time throughout the day to wash and dry your feet.
  • Soak your feet, alternating between hot and cold water. This will also soothe the feet. After soaking rinse your feet and pat dry. Using a healing mixture of one teaspoon of Vaseline along with the juice of one lemon, rub the mixture onto the cracked heels and anywhere else on the bottom of the foot that needs it.

By following these simple ideas your feet will be enjoying the freedom of sandals once again.

Author Bio

Jessica Wright

Jessica is a communications major studying for her masters and working full time. Growing up in a household of girls, she learned young the fun of trying new beauty ideas. Jessica enjoys playing the piano, dating, and having a good time with family and friends. ...


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