46 answers

What to Do About Painful, Cracked Heels

In the past couple months I have developed craked heels. They heel and then crack again. It's painful to walk. I don't know what the cause is or how to prevent it. Nothing has changed to cause them. I'm not overweight. I'm at a total loss and my insurance does not cover podiatry. Help.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks Mamas, and 1 Papa. I think i got this cracked heel thing under control. I took the advice that was repeated the most times and my heels are soft and not cracking. I'm using the Ped Egg (amazing) and Bag Balm and socks. So far so good. All the advice was great, although I didn't appreciate the suggestion that it was menopause. Thanks again.

Featured Answers

Hi Kristene,
I'm a little late and I haven't read all the responses so I'm sorry if someone suggested this already.

Avon carries a whole line of "foot works" products. One of which is called Therapeutic Cracked Heel Relief Cream. It works wonders! I used it recently. I've been trying many of their products since I recently began selling Avon.

Good luck!


I use A and D ointment on mine, my podiatrist recommended it.
It is sold over the counter and the price is very reasonable.
Keeps the tips of my fingers from cracking as well.
I use it in the AM before I put my shoes on and at night watching some tv. Use white cotton socks while they are healing up that will help also.
Good Luck

Sorry to hear it K.. Is it dry skin? If so, have you tried plenty of cream or oil?

Good luck,

More Answers

I have not had this problem, but have heard from others that sometimes heels crack due to wearing rubber flip flops. The rubber seems to draw moisture from the heels...

good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


This is my wonderful for cracked heels among many other things.

I keep the Shaklee Herbal Blend Multi-Purpose Cream on hand at all times. I was glad I had it close by last week.

For some obscure reason I took a hot pan out of the oven, put down the oven mitt & proceded to move the pan with my bare hands!! OUCH! Immediately I felt the skin on my thumb and fingers start to blister. I grabbed the "green cream" and put it on my fingers. I reapplied it a little later. It worked great on preventing the blisters and treating the burn.

I thought I'd pass on this article so you could see what else it can do!


Shaklee Herbal Blend Skin Cream


Shaklee Herbal Blend Cream is made from pure extracts of seventeen natural soothing herbs, including matricaris, sage, coltsfoot, restharrow, horse chestnut, horsetail, yarrow, rosemary, dandelion, and althea, along with menthol and witch hazel.

Its skin-softening and healing ingredients penetrate the skin’s surface, moisturizing and soothing several layers deep.

Shaklee Herbal Blend Cream is a NON-GREASY multi-purpose skin cream with a deep-penetrating emollient-rich formula with cooling oil of wintergreen and menthol – what a delightfully fresh scent!

It is often referred to as the “FACE TO FANNY CREAM” because it can be used effectively in a variety of ways.

soothes, softens and promotes healing of dry, cracked foot or skin anywhere on the body …. what relief for hot, tired feet. It penetrates into the skin, softening dry, rough areas. Clinical tests have proven that with two daily applications – morning & night – feet are less prone to dryness, roughness, redness, or scaling
helps soothe sore muscles and stiff joints…. seems to take the ache right out
soothes the itch of insect bites – takes the heat and redness out of bad spider bites overnight
heals burns faster than any product on the market – great on sunburn
great for chapped hands, blisters, etc.
softens rough skin on the heels which often causes runs in female panty-hose
soothing to skin irritations (some have reported that if you get chicken pox, apply on onset – pox marks heal quickly and disappear quicker)
relieves redness, itching and inflammation of psoriasis
wonderful foot deodorizer
soothes and relieves hemorrhoids internally & externally (Preparation H does not hold a candle to Mentholated Skin Cream)
keeps hands from chapping in the winter (put Mentholated Skin Cream on your hands and then add use Enfuselle Hand & Body Lotion to seal in the moisture)
very soothing on vaginal yeast infection
a wonderful diaper rash cream
a wonderful shaving cream – add some water to cream (gives a clean, cool, smooth shave
very healing on athlete’s foot

To Summarize, below are more multi-purpose uses people have shared

FACE skin rashes, pimples, blackheads, sunburn (ACNE – wash with Basic-H

and apply cream … some people have experienced amazing results)

LIPS for chapped, dry lips, canker sores, cracks at the corner of the mouth,

cold sores

HAIR for dandruff, head sores, scaly spots on scalp, perm burns

BACK for backaches and tightness in neck

HANDS for chapped, dry hands, warts, rashes, detergent burns, cuticles, hangnails,

paper cuts, calluses

FEET for athlete’s foot, planter’s warts, corns, calluses, rashes, foot cramps,

tired aching feet, bruises, blisters

BOTTOMS for diaper rash, hemorrhoids, vaginal itch

LEGS for aching muscles, dry skin, rashes, cuts, bruise

Shaklee has offered this product for over 30 years. It was once called Foot Cream and came in a jar. The Shaklee people in the field found SO MANY USES for this amazing product that had nothing to do with their feet, that they complained to Shaklee about the difficulty in talking to customers about using a foot cream on their face or other areas of the body. Shaklee than changed the name.

Below are some testimonies:

“I cured seeping psoriasis on our son’s scalp when he was about 20 years old by having him wash his head each night with Basic-H, and every morning I rubbed Mentholated Skin Cream on his scalp … it worked!”
“My husband uses it on his hands to keep them from cracking. He has an allergy to motor oil and applies Mentholated Skin Cream after working on machinery. He is also applying it to his sunspots on his bald head.”
“I removed a wart by applying the cream and covering with a band-aid. The wart went away in about a week.”
“I had a ganglion cyst on my wrist about the size of a medium-sized pea for 35 years. Doctors drained it but it came back. I put the cream on it once a day, and in two weeks it was gone and there was not tract of it. That was two months ago.

The above are not product claims …
rather results that some people have experienced!

Have you been drinking enough water? When you start to hit menopause or in your case, probably perimenopause, some parts start to dry out and the heels are one of the first! Drinking water helps, plus a really good moisturizer. Also, I get a pedicure 2x a month to help to keep up with the problem. Good luck!

Try going to a dermatologist. I had a similar problem a few years back and was told to first try prescription lotion by my internist. When that didn't work I went to a dermatologist, Dr. John Edelglass in Woodbridge, who has me using only Aveeno Body Wash and lotion. When winter hits I take oatmeal baths 2 or 3 times a week. All I do is grind up oatmeal in the blender until it is really fine and add about 2/3 cup to a warm bath. It is much cheaper than buying Aveeno Bath and is the same thing. Another thing I do for my chapped hands is carry a tube of Aveeno lotion with me at all times and use it whenever I wash my hands or if I have gone more than an hour without using it. I not only get cracked feet, but my hands as well and in the winter my hands used to get so bad they would bleed. Knock on wood it has worked well. Let me know how you make out.

One of the things that you can do is put vaseline on your feet at night and wear socks...so it will all be absorbed into your feet. Try to exfoliate your heels with a pumus stone. Hope this has been helpful!
If you need anything else....let me know!

Sometimes this is caused by a fungus, even though it does not itch like athlete's foot. You should try buying some Lotrimin AF cream (available over the counter) and use it for a few weeks. Make sure if you were using any kind of foot lotion you should throw it away because it could be contaminated from exposure. You could also try using some tea tree oil mixed in with your favorite lotion. Also be sure to thoroughly clean any callous removers that you used (or throw them out if they can't be cleaned). The Ped Egg (that thing they advertise on TV) works, but you have to moisturize too or it comes back).

Are you eating enough probiotics? Yogurt, kefir, cultured butter (I buy Organic Valley in the yellow box) even sprouted grain breads can all be really helpful with skin issues. Also, limit your sugar intake and eat plenty of good fats - avocados, coconut & coconut oil, walnuts, flax seeds, raw olive oil, and stay away from unhealthy fats like soybean oil and those new "no trans fats" frankenstein oils. Having a healthy balance of omega 3s to omega 6s is important for skin health, too. Finally, don't use petroleum-based lotions on your heels - you could use an expensive health-food store alternative, or a honey-based Burt's Bees product, but I just use coconut oil on my skin - moisturizes well and smells great, and is way cheaper. Remember that problems with your skin are just indicators of something being off inside your body, too. Good luck!

my aunt told me to put vics vapor rub on my feet for cracks (thin layer with a paint brush works best). its a godsend!

get a prescription from your podiatrist for lactic acid. feel better and good luck!!


Cracked heels has been a lifelong issue for me and is a family trait for us. Fortunately, I do have a podiatrist. Often the problem is changing hormones and drinking water.
Occassionally, the doctor has found plantar warts in those cracks which have broken open and become painful.

For regular care, get yourself a PediEgg (at CVS for like $10). Use it gently for a few days and file down the dry skin in layers. After each use of the file, put on a thick cream and rub in well. Creams and lotions alone won't soften dead, calloused skin, so it is best if you get the rough stuff down in a few treatments.

If you find a foot cream like Dr Scholls for crack heels, it has an analgesic which helps to numb the area when it is very painful.

The best way to stay ahead of it is to find a little time every day (ok every other day if you remember - smile) and keep the callous down. Also add extra water into your diet, it really helps.


Hi K.,

Try Bag Balm, found at most pharmacies over the counter.


Hi K.,
I get cracked heels sometimes too and I've found help with a product from my company called Epoch Sole Solution. You rub it on twice a day morning and night and let it stay on as long as possible. My heels are not cracked anymore and stay soft. You can go to my website at http://suemen.mynuskin.com to read all about the product with it's natural ingredients. Once there click on the "shop - United States" tab and then enter "Epoch Sole Solution" in the search bar at the top. All these products have a 30-day money back guarantee, so if it doesn't work for you, you can send it back.
Good luck to you. I know how painful cracked heels can be. Please contact me if you have any questions.

I have the same problem. I just got the pedegg and am amazed at how well it works. If you don't wanna get that buy a foot file and file down the skin. That might help for a bit but when mine crack so bad I can't walk I put A&D ointment on my foot and then put socks (either during the day or at night) and usually by the next day or two the cracks have closed up. Then I usually keep filing my foot when its needed until the next time my heel cracks and then use the A&D ointemt. Hope this helps since I know how painfully it can be.

K., try going online: WebMD and type "cracked heels"
and you'll find a lot of info and what to do.
As for me, I've been using Foot Recovery cream I ordered online from Puritan's Pride. The price is very reasonable and sometimes they go on sale, buy one get 2 free.

Good luck.

Hi K.,

I use Arbonne's RE9 serum and lotion for my dry and cracked heels. Almost all other products contain mineral oil (petroleum) and do not penetrate or do anything but suffocate your skin only sitting on the top layer not doing anything beneficial. Look at ingredients on commonly used / mentioned products and you'll see some derivative of petroelum. Check out the before and after pictures on their website. Email me to for more info or if you would like to know how to make a purchase :) good luck!

Go to CVS and buy a Ped Egg. I saw iit on TV and thought it looked neat and then they had it at my CVS. I have used it a ton of times and it works great. I usually do it after a shower and before bed. After I shave off all the ead skin I use a thick mosturizer and sleep with socks on. I use Eucerin lotion and it works great and I am always barefooted or in flipflops.

Hi K.,

I too always get cracked heels. I am a big fan of pedicures, however, I don't let them shave my feet. They always get too raw after that and they hurt even worse. I have tried these 2 products and I swear they work. I swear to you I am NOT an avon rep and I don't regularly buy avon, but I do occasionally and decided to try these because they were on sale. They have something called Footworks pedi-peel. They are soft pads you just rub on your feet and let dry. After that I use the Footworks therapeutic cracked heel relief cream. After 3 days, my feet were baby soft, I couldn't believe it. I even tried it on my husband because he didn't believe me. I only did one foot so he can see the difference. It was amazing. Definitely try it, it's only like $10 for both. Hopefully you get the same results.

Take care,

file, file file! Your heels are probably as hard as a rock where the cracks are right? For now get a foot file and file like crazy intil you can feel smooth skin. Where the cracks are, before bed soak in warm water (after the inital file too) and make sure they are clean. You do NOT want the cracks to get infected. Put some antibiotic ointment on the cracks and carefully put some good quality (yes it is expensive, but i DO recommend eucerin calming cream, but if you use it for only this it will last a long time)put the cream on the rest of your heels around the ointment. Put on a CLEAN (preferably a white pair that can be bleached, get about 7 pair of cheap whites) and if you can sleep in socks sleep in them. If not keep them on atleast an hour before bed and limit walking unless its on your "toes" or you will mave a mess on the rug. Keep your feet moisturized and smooth or you will have painful cracks probably on and off the rest of your life. Your "skin" will be sore for a few days after filing just fyi. but keep them smooth, and you will have less and less of this painful situation, keep us updated!

some great advice but maybe everyone is lacking some essential oils? i started taking omega 3 oils and it seems to clear up!! good luck

My little brother had this when he was young. My dad had to get him 100% cotton socks and it helped alot. Maybe that'll help your case too.

Do you moisturize your feet at all? If not I can suggest the Footworks line from Avon. I use it and I love it. Check out www.youravon.com/mgold Search for the footworks line. For free shipping use the code REPFS

Yes I am partial since I sell Avon but I know these products are great

I have found that bag Balm found in the pet department due to the fact they use it for cracked utters to work the best for this

Hi Kristene,
I'm a little late and I haven't read all the responses so I'm sorry if someone suggested this already.

Avon carries a whole line of "foot works" products. One of which is called Therapeutic Cracked Heel Relief Cream. It works wonders! I used it recently. I've been trying many of their products since I recently began selling Avon.

Good luck!


I use A and D ointment on mine, my podiatrist recommended it.
It is sold over the counter and the price is very reasonable.
Keeps the tips of my fingers from cracking as well.
I use it in the AM before I put my shoes on and at night watching some tv. Use white cotton socks while they are healing up that will help also.
Good Luck

My husband had experienced the same thing and I came across some great products - The Body Shop carries them and I believe there is a mom on here named Alicia that can get them for you (she is a consultant). There is a foot soak and different creams, when used for a bit, you will see a difference. Good luck and feel better soon.

I too have cracked heels and have found a great solution through Avon. They have an electric callous remover (basically a battery powered, rotating head with a pumice-stone attachment). The stone rotates and you run it over your cracked heel to file down the dead skin--- much easier than scrubbing at it by hand. Then, I slather on Avon's Moisture Therapy Glycerine Gel. It is a thick, clear, moisturizer that works wonders...great for scaly legs too! You can find an Avon rep and also shop for Avon products at www.avon.com. Good luck.

My mother had the same problem for years!!! It was mostly due to her walking around the house (and maybe even driving) barefoot for so long (probably since before I was born and I'm now 33 years old). It's not an overweight problem - my mother has been skinny for most of her life. However, she did see a podiatrist and I believe they gave her prescribed ointments and creams. For one, I do know that she has to wear slippers..any kind (and sometimes with socks) when walking around the house in addition to frequent pedicures. You don't have to get it professionaly done (unless you choose to). Just soak your feet and rub a stone around your heels and of course, apply lotion and/or cream afterwards. My mother was told that it's the combination of age (she's 63) and not taking care of your feet that causes it. As you get older, the skin at the bottom of your feet looses it's natural vitamins and it dries out creating a lot of dead, cracked skin. I'm even seeing changes and I'm younger than you weighing 120 lbs. Even though your insurance strangly doesn't cover podiatry, if I were you I would still contact one just for advice, and in the meantime keep slippers on your feet and moisterize,moisterize, moisterize!!!! Now, my mother's heels are doing a lot better because she stay's on top of taking care of her feet. Good luck! I hope this information has been very helpful.

My podiatrist advised me to rub my washed and dried feet with my favorite hand cream or lotion at bedtime, and when I arise.
Rub it in well, and massage your heels particularly. Be generous with the cream or lotion, and really work it in. I use almost any cream that says "Advanced Healing" on it.

It works,and my hands benefit, too.


I would suggest you add more healthy fats into your diet, such as flaxseed or fish oil. I think you might see a difference.

The skin is an organ. So whatever is going on inside of you can very well show up in your skin.

Good Luck!

To heal them, first use Calandula Gel by Boiron. You can find it in a health food store. Then for prevention use Arbonne's RE9 body serum and body lotion. Absolutely incredible. They are through consultant's only. You can purchase at beautyby.myarbonne.com. Good luck!

Hi K.,
Good news! I can offer you a guaranty cure with a lotion that has been clinical approved to be the best dry skin lotion. The bad news is, it's not available in retail stores. You can get this lotion and other every day consumables directly from the manufacturer by becoming a member.
You will get better, safer and more cost effective products for your family.

If you are interested in more info. contact me at ###-###-####.


I used Heel Balm (you can get it at walmart or your local drug store) - smells pretty bad but I slathered it on at night and put socks on over it and within a week they were much better

Hi Krisine,
My name is J. and I am a consultant for Arbonne and there are some ploducts that will help your feet. I can send you some pictures of some results. If you would like some info I can send you that. you can e-mail me or give me a call at ###-###-####. Hope you find relief in whatever you try.
Best of luck,

Hi K.,
I just had the most delightful pedicure. The reason? My nail tech said "whatever you are doing with your feet, keep it up."
I use Renew lotion after every shower and my previously cracked and painful heels (and alligator legs!) are soft as a baby's skin now! Yay!
If I can help you get Renew, give me a call


My husband gets cracked heels frequently and I've had them once or twice. Here's what we do.

First, you need to heal them. Use some cracked heel cream. I've used a few different brands, but I highly recommend Avon (I'm not an Avon rep). It really works the fastest.

Next get a file. One that looks like a giant emery board and file away all that dead skin. It will help prevent future cracking. Also, take some time to soak your feet a few times a week and remember to lather up with lotion before bed time.

I wonder if more Omega fats in your diet would help?

First - spend $25/$30 on a pedicure. They will "shave" the dead skin off your heels. Second - go to your local Walgreens/Rite Aid/CVS and buy the tool that they used on your heel. Whenever your heels start to get bad again just soak them for about 15 minutes and you can shave them yourself. Really easy and if you do it often enough it prevents the pain.

You can also put lotion on your heels and wrap your feet in plastic wrap then put socks over that while you sleep to prevent it - but I could never stand it.

I've had this problem for about 7 years. It just started one summer and happens every summer since.

Good Luck.

I have been using Lansinoh, the pure lanolin that is marketed to breastfeeding mothers for cracked nipples. It works great!

Eucern lotion is great. And not as expensive and special heel lotion. Just slather it on when you go to sleep and put some socks over it. Also you can rub a little in during the day. It can get a bit greasy.

I have the same problem and every night I put Aquaphor or Vaseline all over my feet and put socks on. I find that really helps. Also I try not to wear flip flops or open-back clogs too much.

My heel just cracked this week. You need to put Aquaphor on your feet with socks when you go to bed - this will keep your skin from drying and cracking......It's like vaseline but it's so much better.

try an alcohol-free (alc. Stings cracked skin) cream after every shower/bath & a pedicurist's foot-file once cracks are healed. My feet started to "go" after 35 & they need pedicures & DIY upkeep to keep from cracking @ the heels. If yours are really bad maybe a dermatologist?

Bag balm! It's the same stuff farmer's put on cow udders! You can find it in any grocery/drug store. It comes in a square green container. Put that on overnight with socks and it softens feet beautifully.

Also, Bed Bath & Beyond have these pedicure slippers that you can try. They have this jelly like substance on the inside and feel very funny as you walk but they soften you feet in minutes as you go about your daily tasks at home. I like to wear mine just before I go out and am planning on wearing backless shoes so I know my feet will look great.

K. - I have developed the same problem for some reason and it really stinks!! I like the recommendations you received so far, especially as a preventative. However, the woman who does my nails and pedicures gave me a quick fix that stops the pain, then you can do the rest of the filing, moisturizing, etc.. I realize that many people may disagree with this and was dubious too, but crazy glue keeps the crack together so it doesn't hurt, does so for a LONG time and doesn't infect it (I think that the skin is so thick it's resistant to infection - I say that jokingly).

In any event, it's funny you post this because I just developed another crack. I think I'll try the Avon, Pediegg thing combo. Good luck!

See if your insurance covers going to the dermatologist. It might not be just cracked skin but a case of psoriasis.

Sorry to hear it K.. Is it dry skin? If so, have you tried plenty of cream or oil?

Good luck,

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