Heel fissures, or cracks in the skin of the heel, occur due to the area being subjected to constant pressure and friction. The heel is also susceptible to dry skin and calluses. Superficial cracks that do not penetrate deeply into the skin’s surface can be treated with thick creams to provide moisture. Deeper heel fissures that expose layers of skin tissue or blood are more serious, as infections can develop if bacteria enter the fissures.
Heel fissures can be prevented by wearing properly-fitting, supportive, cushioned footwear, as well as heel inserts, both of which protect the heel’s fat pad from wearing down. Avoid wearing sandals and open-heeled footwear that expose the heel and provide less support to the area. Keep the heel’s skin moisturized and soft; uses pumice stones or foot files to get rid of calluses so fissures don’t form in the thickened, dry skin. Podiatrists have treatments for heel fissures and calluses. Always see a doctor for deeper heel fissures that can lead to infection.