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Cracked Heels – FAQs

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Cracked Heels - FAQs

Painful cracked heels are incredibly common and can affect anyone. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions answered.


What are cracked heels? 

Breaks or cracks in the heels that result from dry skin on the feet combined with pressure are referred to as cracked heels, or heel fissures.


Why do they occur? 

The skin on the feet is more likely to become dry because it relies on sweat glands for moisture. Beyond that, age, genetics and nutrition can all play a role; as can environmental factors such as low humidity and sun exposure. Furthermore, because the feet endure the weight of the body all day, every day; friction and pressure also play a role. 


What are the risk factors?

Genetics, obesity and certain health conditions including diabetes can contribute to the likelihood of developing cracked heels. 


Can cracked heels be treated at home? 

Yes, in most cases, they can be treated successfully at home, however if cracks are becoming worse, bleeding or showing signs of infection, seek professional medical attention. 


How do I treat them at home? 

Moisturising foot creams containing glycerin and allantoin have been shown to be particularly helpful for both preventing and treating the problem, like O’Keeffe’s Healthy Feet. In order to boost the absorption of the cream, soak the feet in warm soapy water and exfoliate away any hard, dead skin around the heels. Apply a thick layer of quality moisturiser to your feet when they are still slightly damp to seal in moisture.


What is the best footwear?

Wearing sturdy and supportive closed toe shoes or boots can help prevent the problem. 


How do you permanently fix the problem? 

There is no permanent cure, however, with daily moisturising and regular exfoliation you may be able to prevent the condition from developing. Read our blog on – cracked heel causes and treatment – for some top tips.   


Which vitamin deficiencies cause the problem? 

Deficiencies in vitamin A and zinc can contribute to the development of cracked heels.


How do I clean cracked heels? 

Soak feet in warm, soapy water. Ensure the use of a moisturising cleanser free of fragrances and irritants.


How do I soften cracked heels? 

Moisturising creams that contain Allantoin, like O’Keeffe’s Healthy Feet, have been shown to be especially effective at softening the thicker skin of the foot.