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How to Prevent and Heal Heel Fissures

Cracked Heels and Running: A Painful Combination

In the Summertime, I'm all about wearing sandals. This can prevent sweaty stinky tootsies, but it can also make the skin extremely dry and callused. If you enjoy running, the pressure of pounding your feet on the ground when you run can cause heel fissures, or cracks in your dry skin. If you continue to run, the fissures can split open further and become deeper. Youch! When that happens, the fissures can bleed and expose the underlying tissue to infection. Plus they're really painful, which makes running downright impossible.

Want to know how you can prevent fissures? Then


  • Drink lots of water throughout your day to help moisturize your body from the inside out.
  • Get a humidifier going in your home to return moisture to the air.
  • Before you go to sleep, lather your feet up with intense moisturizing lotion, salve, or body butter, and place socks over them.
  • Avoid moisturizing your tootsies before exercising, as this can make your footing slippery and lead to injury.
  • To get rid of dry skin on your heels, try using a pumice stone in the shower. It gently sloughs off dead skin cells, eventually revealing softer, smoother skin. If you already have small cracks, just be careful not to irritate those areas.
  • I know it's tempting to continue running, but if you have a deep fissure, the pressure of your pounding feet will only make it worse. Switch to walking until your fissure is under control.
  • If you already have a big crack, make an appointment with a podiatrist. They can help get rid of the hard, dry skin, so that your fissure can heal.
Image Source: Thinkstock
Join The Conversation
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 6 years
I like to use a pumice stone in the shower (daily). Incidentally, whenever I shower (from overhead), I like to stop up the water in the tub. By standing in the pool of water, I end up soaking my feet. This softens my feet. Towards the end of my shower, I like to gently rub the pumice stone on the heels and bottoms. For me, this helps me manage dry, rough feet. If my feet needs extra TLC, I like to rub some jojoba oil all over my feet when I get out of the shower. This works for me. I jog and weight train, so my feet gets plenty of load put on them.
onlysourcherry onlysourcherry 6 years
I use the tweezerman pedro in the shower twice a week and Aveeno 24 hour moisturizing lotion every time i get out of the shower. I suggested this same combo to my dad, who had awful cracked feet, and now his feet look great!
EllaBella EllaBella 9 years
I had this once and the Scholl Cracked Heel cream really did wonders in just a couple of days!! Really it is incrfedibly effective!
Spectra Spectra 9 years
I have really tough feet and I've actually never gotten a deep fissure like that. I have calluses on my heels and the balls of my feet and I don't really want to get rid of them because my feet would be more tender. I have, however, gotten black toenails from running too much in shoes that get stiff in the cold.
Dublin62505 Dublin62505 9 years
I hate to post something contrary to the author of this particular piece, but a pumice stone for the most part does not make a dent in callouses. My recommendation is Diamancel Foot Callus Rasp #20 & Foot Buffer #11. Both are made w/ diamonds and are an excellent tool for removing troublesome callouses. Provided they are kept clean, they last much longer than similar tools. To the poster above, I definitely do not recommend utilizing the razor (either by yourself or in the hands of a pedicurist). It is an invitation for infection (staph, fungus etc.). It has the potential to exacerbate the problem. I would only recommend having it done by a podiatrist. As far as foot cream, there is a plethora on the market. I've used everything from Barielle to Santa Maria Novella and been pleased. Lastly, the key to taming xerosis and fissures is adding OMEGA fatty acids to your diet.
hottpink hottpink 9 years
I have very tough callouses on my feet from running. I have seen sometimes that when people get pedi's they use a razor. Is this safe? Would this be a good idea to smooth out my tough callouses?
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
The thoughts iof running like this make me squirm...
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