Heel fissures, also known as cracked heels can be a simple cosmetic problem and a nuisance, but can also lead to serious medical problems. Heel fissures occur when the skin on the bottom, outer edge of the heel becomes hard, dry and flaky, sometimes causing deep fissures that can be painful, bleeding or even infected.
There are many potential causes of “cracked heels.” Dry skin (xerosis) is common and can get worse with wearing open-back shoes, increased weight, weather changes or increased friction from the back of shoes. Dry cracking skin can also be a subtle sign of more significant problems.
Applying moisturizing cream on a daily basis can help reduce the cracking. If an open sore is noted, make an appointment with a podiatrist for evaluation and treatment.
Like many foot conditions, heel fissures can become more dangerous if they go untreated and become deep or infected especially with diabetes or compromised immune systems.