What Causes Dry Cracked Heels and Feet?


We got soft, supple, beautiful feet & heels when we were born. But, its softness decrease with time. And it turns to thick, hard, and harsh heels with our age.

This most common skin thickening occurs around our feet and heels. It’s not a major problem. The problem arises when the thick dry skin of heels gets cracked.

Read Also: How to Heal Cracked Heels Fast – 10 Step by Step Guides

Today, I will help you to know the details about it. And you also know, what are the main causes behind the dry cracked heels?

Heel Crack

Heel crack is the common name of heel fissure. It is such a situation when the dry skin on the heels gets cracked. It can’t bear the pressure of our body if too dry, thick, and flaky. And this creates the cracks.

You can understand it better with a tomato. Take a ripe tomato, and put it on a table (or hard surface). Apply pressure on the tomato gradually and see what happens. In the beginning, it squeezes with pressure. When the pressure is too much to bear, it gets cracked or split. The same thing happens to your heels.

When your heel’s skin becomes too hard, it could get cracked by simple walking pressure. Because it loses softness and elasticity. Cracks are unpleasant to see, disturbing to walk, and sometimes severe cracks cause infections.

Causes of dry cracked heels

Initial Sign of Cracked Heels

The initial signs of cracked heels are dry, hard, and flaky skin around your heels. In most cases, this hard skin may be yellowish or dark brown. Next time, you can notice the tiny thread-like cracks over the hard skin. If you show don’t care mood to it, you will have to suffer from severe cracks, infections, and bleeding.

What Causes Dry Cracked Heels

The main causes of heel cracks are prolonged standing, pregnancy, diabetics, and obesity. Today we will go deep through it. We will find what causes dry cracked heels and discuss how it affects our feet and heels to get cracked. All the causes are relatively connected to each other.

Internal Causes

1. Moisture Deficiency

It is one of the main causes of cracked heels and pain. The skin around our feet is quite dry than the other parts of the body. If your skin is suffering from excessive dryness, it loses softness and elasticity. It can’t expand desirably against any pressure. As a result, your skin gets cracked.

2. Lack of Nutrition

More healthy foot means fewer cracks. Lack of nutrition decreases the quality of your skin and increases the chance of heel cracks. It happens due to your food habits and the way you take it. Shortage of vitamins, minerals, zinc, etc. in the diet is responsible for heel cracks. You should find out which nutrient deficiency is working behind your cracks. Then take proper steps to solve it.

3. Aging Skin

Our skin becomes rough and dry with age. After 20, heel’s skin starts to get hard gradually. If you don’t take proper care, it becomes harder, thicker, and drier than previous. The more you age the more you get cracked heels. You should take proper care to avoid heel cracks.

4. Obesity

Obesity is an internal factor, but it affects externally. It creates excessive and unbearable pressure on the feet. And this leads your heels to get cracked.

5. Genetics

It is another reason for getting cracked heels. The heel cracks could come from your ancestors. It is not obvious that if they had heel cracks, surely you will suffer. But, it could be.

6. Dehydration

The main reason of crack heels is dry skin. And one of the main reasons of dry skin is dehydration. If you habituate to drink less water, you will face dehydration. It not only affects your feet but also your entire health. Drinking enough water and soaking your foot regularly can help you to stay away from this situation.

7. Skin Conditions

Some skin diseases are responsible for the cracked heels. And they are psoriasis, eczema, fungus, calluses, or corns. If you find any of these skin diseases appear on your feet, you should be aware of heel cracks. And take proper steps to heal skin diseases to prevent heel cracks.

8. Health Disorder

Diseases like diabetes, thyroid problem, estrogen imbalance cause heel cracks. In diabetics, a high level of glucose in the blood causes poor blood flow and nerve damage. And it may lead you to serious foot problems including heel cracks.

External Causes

1. Extra Pressure

Your feet always receive pressure from your body. Some factors put extra pressure on your feet. And they are obese and your work types. If you are suffering from obesity, it creates high pressure on your feet, and your heels get cracked. On the contrary, lifting the excess weight while you work causes heel cracks. That means excessive pressure upon your feet that come from anywhere will be responsible for heel cracks.

2. Footwear Types or Poor Fitting Shoes

Let’s talk about the footwear types first. If you wear open-backed shoes or the shoes contain hard soles, then you may suffer from the heel cracks. Back closed shoes create a barrier around your heels and soft padded soles provide comfort. Thus, your footwear keeps your heels safe from cracks.

Secondly, too tight or too loose shoes may responsible for the cracked heel. Always wear the best-fitted shoes to get rid of this problem.

3. Foot Hygiene

Stay hygiene will help you stay healthy. You will remain safe from skin related problems if you keep your feet clean. And thus you stay safe from the heel cracks.

4. Excess Contact with Water

Washing your skin with water is always good. It hydrates your skin and clean impurities. But the excess of anything is bad. If your skin has connected with water for a long time, it may take away the natural oils from the skin. And this leads to skin dryness. Mainly it happens if you work in a watery place (like firm) barefoot.

5. Winter Weather (cold & dry)

In winter, you should take extra care of your skin. Cause, winter weather is very dry and cold. It sucks moisture from the skin. The skin around your heels also suffers a moisture deficiency in winter than other times of the year.

6. Taking a hot bath or shower too frequent

Taking a hot bath or shower could cause heel cracks. It makes your skin drier and sometimes washes away the natural oils of the skin, as well as heels. And this may make your heel skin prone to crack.

7. Using harsh, drying soaps on your feet

Using harsh soap on the feet is responsible for heel cracks. Harsh soap contains chemicals that dried up your skin. So, you should be conscious while washing your feet.

8. Scrubbing too much

Mild scrubbing helps to remove hard skin from the heel and sole. But frequent and hard scrubbing can damage the skin’s protective layer. Your skin loses moisture more and it creates the cracks.

Among the above-mentioned points, some are seriously responsible for heel cracks and some are not. But you should put your full attention on each point. And take proper care to keep your heels soft and smooth.

Be happy with healthy feet.