Cracks in the skin at the back and sides of the heel are unattractive and can be painful. They are fairly common, especially in those who are predisposed to them. These splits in the skin about the heel occur when the skin is thicker and dry. As the fat underneath the heel bulges out sideways when walking puts strain on the skin that it can not take, so the skin just tears or splits. The using of open back sandals also contributes to the problem. Some medical problems may also contribute to the dryness of the skin and a numerous biomechanical issues contribute to the thickening of the skin.
Once a split occurs, it does have to be treated as it can act as a entrance to have an infection to get in. Firstly, an antiseptic ought to be used to avoid that if the split is open. It is then important to take off the thick callus about the peripheray of the heel. This can be undertaken by a competent podiatrist for those who have access to podiatry. If not, you'll need to use something such as a foot file, pumice stone or emery board and get to work on reducing the thick skin. This may take a lots of effort. Once that callused skin is removed, then it is crucial that you use lotions and emollients to help make the skin supple and adaptable so it doesn't have the tendency to crack. Urea based creams are typically better for that. When this initial problem is taken care of, then preventative measures need to be put in place to continue with otherwise the condition will most likely occur again. Regular use of a foot file or similar is recommended to keep the thick skin down and frequent use of a urea based ointment is crucial to make the skin resilient to cracking and stop the dryness. Staying away from open back shoes is also encouraged.