• My Family Podiatry

Heel Fissures

Updated: Mar 28, 2021

As the weather warms up and we spend more time in open shoes such as thongs and sandals, we often see the return of dry and cracked heels. For many people, heel fissures can be a painful issue with some cracks even reaching the point of bleeding! For others, these heel fissures are more of an annoyance, something they want to cover up to prevent others seeing and even something that catches on the bed sheets.

Why do they crack?

On the underside of the foot is a pad of fat which acts as a cushion and shock absorber as we stand and walk. This fat pad compresses to absorb force and the skin surrounding the foot will stretch to accomodate this. When the skin around the heel becomes dry and thick, it is no longer able to stretch and instead can crack. Initially these cracks may be small and superficial though they can rapidly become deeper until the point of bleeding.

Anyone who has experienced large cracks in their heels will tell you how painful they can be, though the pain isn’t the only problem. Our feet tend not to be the cleanest parts of our bodies and with a deep crack comes the risk of developing a nasty infection.

How can I treat heel cracks?

The main way of stopping heels from cracking is by stopping the skin from becoming dry and hard. This can be achieved through:

  1. Wearing enclosed shoes: This stops the skin from being exposed to the elements and drying out.

  2. Frequent application of an emollient: Regular emollient application works to return moisture to the skin and ensures it remains stretchy. Emollients containing urea are typically more effective as the urea actively penetrates the skin to moisturise and reduce water loss across the skin.

  3. Visit your local podiatrist: Your local podiatrist can painlessly debride the hard, dry skin to reveal the healthy skin beneath. They can also discuss more intensive and tailored treatment options for your cracked heels if required.

If you are tired of dealing with dry, cracked heels, visit My Family Podiatry today and have your feet feeling fantastic again in sandals. To book an appointment call 07 3088 6116 or visit

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