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It's That Time of Year! Dry Skin Season is Upon Us! Don't let those Heels Crack!

Cracked heels, also known as heel fissures, are a common foot ailment that can lead to discomfort and even pain. Understanding the factors contributing to cracked heels is essential for effective prevention and treatment. In this blog post, we'll delve into the anatomy of cracked heels, exploring the causes and providing insights on how to keep your feet healthy.

The Anatomy of Cracked Heels:

  1. Dry Skin:

  • Outer Skin Layer: The outermost layer of our skin acts as a protective barrier. When this layer becomes excessively dry, it loses its elasticity, making it prone to cracks.

  • Lack of Moisture: Insufficient moisture, especially in regions with low humidity or during dry seasons, can contribute to dry skin, increasing the likelihood of cracked heels.

  1. Pressure and Weight Distribution:

  • Impact of Body Weight: The constant pressure on our feet, particularly the heels, can cause the skin to expand and contract. Over time, this repetitive stress can lead to the development of fissures.

  • Footwear Choices: Ill-fitting shoes or open-back footwear can exacerbate the problem by causing uneven weight distribution on the feet.

  1. Lack of Foot Care:

  • Neglecting Hygiene: Poor foot hygiene, such as infrequent washing or exfoliation, can result in the accumulation of dead skin cells. This build-up can contribute to cracked heels.

  • Ignoring Foot Health: Failing to address minor foot issues promptly may allow them to progress into more severe conditions, including cracked heels.

Prevention Tips:

  1. Hydration:

  • Regular Moisturizing: Apply a rich moisturizer to your feet daily, especially focusing on the heels. Consider using products with ingredients like urea or glycerin for enhanced hydration. Dr. Johnston has a few favorites that work very well!

  • Stay Hydrated: Drinking an adequate amount of water supports overall skin health, including the skin on your feet.

  1. Proper Footwear:

  • Choose Comfortable Shoes: Opt for well-fitting, supportive shoes that distribute weight evenly across your feet. Avoid open-back shoes, especially if you have a tendency to develop cracked heels.

  • Moisture-Wicking Socks: Wear socks made from breathable materials to help keep your feet dry and prevent excessive sweating.

  1. Foot Care Routine:

  • Regular Exfoliation: Gently exfoliate your feet to remove dead skin cells.

  • Trimming and Hygiene: Pay attention to overall foot hygiene. Regular inspection allows for the early detection of potential issues.


Cracked heels are often a result of a combination of factors, including dry skin, pressure on the feet, and inadequate foot care. By understanding the anatomy of cracked heels and implementing a proactive foot care routine, you can significantly reduce the risk of developing this common foot condition. Prioritizing hydration, proper footwear, and regular foot care will contribute to the overall health and well-being of your feet.

Most importantly, seek professional help if unsure how to proceed in treating cracked heels. Dr. Johnston will help you with any questions or treatment needed. 

Give us a call, 419-474-7700

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