Cracked heels may be an unattractive annoyance at first, but if you don't have the problem treated, your heels could become painful or infected. It's best to begin treatments at home at the first sign of dry skin on your heels.

Once cracks develop, you may need the help of a podiatrist to make them go away, especially if you have diabetes or another medical condition that limits circulation and sensation in your feet. Here's a look at some home remedies and podiatrist treatments for cracked heels. 

Home Remedies For Cracked Heels

Cracked heels have a build-up of dried, dead skin. When you notice your heels getting dry or see calluses develop, begin moisturizing your feet. Apply a thick moisturizer at night and cover your feet with cotton socks. Look for a moisturizer intended for treating dry heels as these contain ingredients that soften and exfoliate dead skin.

You may also need to avoid taking long, hot baths that dry out your feet. You may need to change your footwear to more supportive shoes that cushion your heels. You might also need to get off your feet at intervals throughout the day to relieve pressure on your heels. Using a pumice stone to sand off dry skin might also help.

Podiatrist Treatments For Heel Cracks

A podiatrist might use a scalpel and cut away the dried skin. This isn't painful since the skin is already dead, but you don't want to cut on your heels yourself as that increases the risk of infection and injury. The doctor might also use a sander on your heels that sands away the dead skin.

When some of the skin is removed, you'll begin to feel sensations when the podiatrist is working on your heels. The foot doctor may stop working to remove dead skin when that happens. They might glue the cracks together that are left to help them heal. The podiatrist might also apply a moisturizing dressing to your heels.

You may be advised on how to care for your feet once you get home. The doctor might prescribe prescription foot cream that is more effective at exfoliation and moisturizing. You may need to apply the cream one or two times a day until the dead, dry skin is gone and your heels are smooth and soft.

Your podiatrist might also want to determine the cause of your dry heels so they can recommend prevention techniques. Wearing proper shoes and socks might help, and you might be encouraged to lose weight and keep health conditions such as diabetes under control.

Speak to a podiatrist to find out more.