What Causes Cracked Heels

Dry, cracked heels can not only be embarrassing, but can often become extremely painful. While they’re often simply superficial and not serious, they can sometimes be an indication of other medical issues.

Read on to discover the most common causes of cracked heels and get to the bottom of how you can remedy your situation.

What causes cracked heels?

When the skin on and around your heels becomes thick or dry, it loses its suppleness and elasticity. Following this it can split under even the most gentle of pressures, such as a light walk.

When dry skin starts to split it can lead to unsightly, painful and even bleeding cracked heels.

There are a number of common causes of cracked heels, including:

Inappropriate Footwear

Inappropriate footwear

Walking without shoes or in footwear that offers very little protection, such as thongs can make you more prone to cracked heels.

Your Genes

Your genes

If your parents’ heels are particularly prone to drying out and cracking, your skin is likely to be similar.

Extended periods of standing

Standing on your feet all day at work or home, especially on hard floors, can put unnecessary pressure on your heels and cause them to dry out.

Unhygienic conditions

Fungal infections, like tinea, can cause your skin to dry out and crack more than usual.

Nutrient deficiencies

Without enough vitamins, minerals, zinc and other nutrients, your skin can’t function as well as it needs to, to remain soft and supple.

  1. Weight gain
  2. Similarly, extra weight can put increased pressure on your heels which can cause calluses that can go on to crack.

    The heel is also forced expand more when it has to support a heavier weight and is more prone to cracking.

  3. Medical conditions
  4. A number of medical conditions could also be the cause of your cracked heels, including:

    • Diabetes
    • Thyroid problems
    • Dermatitis
    • Down syndrome
    • Kidney disease
    • Lymphoma
    • Psoriasis and eczema