Podiatrist (Foot and Ankle Specialist) Questions Dry skin

What can I do for my dry and cracked heels?

I used to walk barefoot a lot, and my heels are now dry and cracked. What should I do to treat this?

12 Answers

1. Drink more water. Hydration level of the body will usually show up in the skin.
2. Moisturize the feet at least twice daily- morning and evening.
3. Cold weather can reduce moisture levels in skin, so keep skin covered and warm.
There are many hydrating creams and lotions that can be used. Ideally, you do not want your feet to be overly dry and cracked as that may lead to fissures that can cause pain and be a portal of entry to infections. Look for Ammonium Lactate lotion/cream to use daily for the feet. If it does not work well, you may need a prescription for something prescription strength.
Wet your feet, then take A and D. Put ointment on your heels and wrap in seran wrap. Put socks on and wear when sleeping. Use a good moisturizer during the day.
There are many potential causes of cracked heels. Dry skin (xerosis) is common and can get worse with wearing open-back shoes, increased weight or increased friction from the back of shoes. Dry, cracked skin can also be a subtle sign of more significant problems, such as diabetes or loss of nerve function (autonomic neuropathy).

Heels should be kept well moisturized with a cream to help reduce the cracking. If an open sore is noted, make an appointment with a foot and ankle surgeon for evaluation and treatment.
Thank you for your question. I would recommend using keratolytic creams on your heels twice a day. Examples are urea cream and ammonium lactate. Keratolytic creams help to shed thick, dry skin. There are over the counter manual skin debridement devices as well. Hope this helps. Good luck to you.
Use a heavy cream twice a day. If you walk bare foot now I would recommend wearing foam slide sandals at home and well cushioned shoes at all other times.
This is not an uncommon disorder resulting from excessive dryness of the skin associated with barefoot walking causing this local fissuring. Clearly avoidance of being barefooted is critical. I recommended skin emollients or lotions to prevent this fissuring and cracking. There are multiple products available over-the-counter which are useful for this. I do oftentimes recommend a product such as ammonium lactate lotion or cream that can be obtained with a 5% strength over-the-counter and a 12% strength with prescription.
You'll probably want a lotion and use it a few times a day to keep the skin moisturized. Sometimes you may need a prescription one.
For OTC mess, I recommend either Eucerine or LacHydren 12%. Many farmers prefer Bag Balm or Utter Balm.
If you don't wear a supportive shoe then your heel moves when you walk. The sheer forces cause friction to the skin layers and they also dry out and crack. Wear a supportive shoes and apply moisturizing cream twice a day to the skin. If it doesn't get better in 2 weeks, see your doc as it may be a fungal infection.
The reason for this is usually a condition called Hyperhidrosis, which is excessive sweating of the palms, plantar foot, or other parts of the body. This problem actually wicks moisture out of your tissues and dries them out. There is often a component of callus formation where the fissures and cracks form-most commonly around the heels and forefoot in the weight bearing areas. There are some good prescription and non-prescription creams that have enzymes which help to break down the callused tissue and help to soften the skin and get rid of the calluses and fissures. Over the counter, the best is called Amlactin. You can have similar cream or lotion prescribed by your Podiatrist called Lac Hydrin. These creams contain Lactic Acid, which is safe for your skin and effective against the fissures and calluses. Another type of prescription cream is a Urea cream. They work similarly. When the fissures are very bad, I have my patients apply the cream at night and wrap their feet in Saran Wrap to hold the medication close to the skin and so it does not soak into the sheets during the night. Then, in the morning, just gently go over the affected areas with a Pumice stone or a Callus File. Once the skin is normal again, you no longer have to use the Saran Wrap and can just apply the lotion nightly to the feet.
Cracked heels are likely a sign of dry skin, however, if your feet perspire often, it can be related the the excess moisture. I would recommend being evaluated by a foot and ankle specialist (podiatrist) to determine the best treatment options