Cracks in the skin at the back of the heel are unattractive and can be painful. They are reasonably common, especially in those people who are predisposed to them. These splits in the skin about the heel occur when the skin is thicker and dry. As the fat beneath the heel expands out sideways when walking puts strain on the skin that it may not take, so the skin just tears or splits. The wearing of open back shoes also contributes to the problem. Various medical conditions can also contribute to the dryness of the skin and a numerous biomechanical issues contribute to the thickening of the skin and the subsequent cracked heels.

After a crack happens, it does need to be dealt with as it may act as a entrance for an infection to get in. Firstly, an antiseptic needs to be used to avoid that if the split is open. It is then necessary to get rid of the thick callus around the peripheray of the heel. This can be done by a experienced podiatrist if you have access to one. Otherwise, then you need to use something such as a foot file, pumice stone or emery board and get to work on reducing it. This may take a lots of effort. As soon as that thickened skin is reduced, then it is important to use lotions and emollients to make the skin soft and flexible so it doesn't have the tendency to crack. Urea based creams are typically better for that. When this original condition is taken care of, then preventative approaches have to be put in place to continue with or else the condition will in all probability occur again. Occasional use of a foot file or similar is recommended to keep the callused skin down and frequent use of a urea based cream is crucial to make the skin resistant to splitting and stop the dryness. Keeping away from open back shoes is also advised to avoid cracked heels.