Accessibility Tools

Heel Cracks/Fissures

Cracked heels and heel fissures start out as dry skin and turn into a painful health problem.

They occur when the skin on the edge of the heel becomes too dry, hardens into a callus and then starts to crack.

Cracked Heels Become Fissures

These “fissures” can be difficult to heal, so it is important to catch this before the cracks appear. They can be particularly dangerous for patients with diabetes or diseases that compromise the immune systems, such as patients with cancer or HIV.

Cracked heels and heel fissures are most common among patients who have dry skin, flat feet, high arched feet, heel spurs or inactive sweat glands.

We also see them a lot with people who walk barefoot or wear flip flops or sandals often, who live in very dry climates, or who are obese.


  • If the edges of your heels are dry, scaly and hardening, apply a heavy moisturizing lotion each night before bed and sleep with socks on. We recommend using a moisturizing lotion for dry and cracked heels.
  • A product called Heels So Smooth is excellent for softening the heels. They are sort of like socks except the material only covers the low ankle, heel and arch. Your toes are free to wiggle! The gel substance in the heel material works on softening your heels as you sleep.
  • You can also use a pumice stone or loofah sponge soap to gently exfoliate the callus each night before applying the lotion.Be careful not to rub so hard that it causes pain or bleeding. For this reason, we do NOT suggest using a popular product called the Ped Egg. Diabetics should take extra care with a pumice stone because some have a condition called neuropathy and they may not be able to tell the amount of pressure they are applying, which could damage the skin and lead to other complications. The natural loofah sponge soap is a gentle exfoliation option, try our BUFF for a safe, gentle abrasion to remove callouses.

Dr. Freels' Recommended Daily Footcare Ritual to Remove Cracked Skin/Callouses

1.  During your shower or bath, first soak the area in RELAX.  This will not only soften the area, the lemongrass will reduce inflammation in the painful area.

2.  Now that the area is softened, use BUFF.  This loofah suspended in hydrating oils will safely remove excess buildup of skin and soften those edges around the crack, non-painfully.

3.  After you get out of the shower and dry the area, apply HEAL.  This urea based healing ointment will continue to eat away at the dead skin buildup well after you've gone to bed.  It's also loaded with hydrating oils that will continue to penetrate well below the surface.

4.  Your last step is to apply the ultimate in hydration, HYDRATE.  We want to seal everything in and then some.  This creamy and silky foot balm is clinically proven to give you supple and well hydrated skin.

For maintenance of these area, simply use the RELAX and BUFF only a few times a week.  Continue HEAL and HYDRATE daily.  You won't be disappointed.


If your feet are showing heel fissures, there are several treatment options. We can treat them with a special liquid bandage that will hold the skin together and promote healing.

In severe cases, we may trim away the callused skin (do not try this at home). We may also recommend orthotics, heel pads or cushions to stabilize the foot and prevent the rubbing that can cause cracked heels.