Cracked Feet

Let’s start by saying that even if you have cracked feet, you deserve to wear  slingbacks, sandals, and more  backless footwear because all skin is good skin,

For many though, it’s also physically painful.

The good news is, treating your cracked feet doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, many docs encourage affordable home remedies to keep your feet in tip-top shape! 

Not sure where to start? We can help. Read on to discover exactly what you need to know about cracked feet.


What Exactly Causes Cracked Feet?

There are many different reasons why people may experience dry, cracked feet. You see, our feet are responsible for holding up our body, and therefore, they withstand a tremendous amount of pressure. 

When pressure and weight are applied to our feet, the skin expands outwards. If our skin is dry, it becomes less elastic and rigid, which ultimately causes it to be more prone to cracking and fissures. Makes sense, right? 

The most common causes of cracked feet include the following:

Lacking Moisture

This is the most common culprit behind cracked feet. 

The skin underneath your feet is often dry, rough, and chapped. Why? Because the skin around your feet has a relatively small number of sweat glands. 

As mentioned, if your skin is particularly dry, cracked skin appears much more easily because it has less elasticity and can be exacerbated by any of the issues below. So stay moisturized, okay?


It is important to understand the risk factors like the lack of body-nourishing vitamins, minerals, and zinc in your diet can adversely affect the health of your feet. Take care of yourself, angel. 


Difficulty in keeping your feet clean can be a further cause of cracked heels.


Standing for excessively long hours can put stress on your feet. So, kick your feet up and relax sometimes if you can. 

Health Conditions

Psoriasis, eczema, thyroid disease, athlete’s foot, diabetes, and some other skin conditions can cause cracked feet. Check in with yourself and visit a doctor if you think you may have any of these ailments. 


Being overweight can put some extra pressure on the pad under your heel, causing it to expand sideways. If your skin lacks flexibility, this can put additional pressure on the feet, leading to cracked skin. 


You can be genetically predisposed to dry skin, thick skin, or calluses -- all of which can lead to cracked feet. It’s really just like that sometimes. 


Water on your feet can take away from its natural oils, which can leave them rough and dry. Standing for prolonged periods in damp areas or even hot showers can cause cracked feet, as can washing with hot, soapy water. Always be sure to steer clear from harsh soaps, rinse off, and pat dry to prevent heel fissures.

Poor Fitting Shoes

Wearing shoes that don’t fit you properly can contribute to cracked feet. 

Some cracks can be minor, but more severe cases can lead to discomfort, bleeding, and pain -- especially if bacteria seeps into the figures. 

That’s why it’s essential to take care of the problem ASAP before things get worse. Make sure your shoes are always a comfortable fit. 


How to Care for Cracked Feet

Here are a few simple ways to soothe your cracked feet and give them some much-needed relief. You’ll be back on your feet, feeling amazing in no time!

First — Up Your H2O Intake

When you’re experiencing cracked feet, don’t just immediately tend to your skin -- grab a water bottle, fill it up and start guzzling. Staying hydrated is key!

Your skin can lose about a liter of water throughout the day -- more in dry climates -- so keeping yourself adequately hydrated goes a long way toward preventing or soothing dry, cracked skin. 

Do A Soak

This will make you feel luxurious, as it should!

Since the skin on the base of your foot -- especially in the heel area -- is a bit thicker and tougher than on other parts of the body, it requires a little more effort to soften and moisturize. 

One of the best ways to do this is with a foot soak. Simply fill a basin or tub with lukewarm water, then add a bit of cleansing white vinegar. 

Why Vinegar, you ask? Because it works naturally to disinfect the skin and can also get rid of icky-smelling odors

Exfoliate Your Feet

Dead skin cells on the surface of your skin naturally fall off, causing new skin cells to take their place. 

Sometimes, a buildup of dead skin cells can form, leading to thick, flaky patches that can cause your dry feet to become cracked. Exfoliation removes the dead surface layer of hard skin using either a physical or chemical exfoliator.

Physical exfoliators include:

  • Foot scrubs

  • Electronic callus removers

  • Body brushes

You can either purchase a foot scrub or make your own at home by mixing honey, warm water, and sugar. Thank us later. 

Chemical exfoliators, on the other hand, take the form of thin liquids or lotions. They contain powerful ingredients that dissolve dead skin cells on the skin’s surface, such as lactic acid, hyaluronic acid, glycolic acid, and alpha-hydroxy acid. 

Foot peels are popular chemical exfoliators that are designed specifically for the feet. 

Some foot peels contain alcohols and artificial fragrances that can irritate sensitive skin, so it’s essential to check the list of ingredients for any potential allergens or irritants before purchasing.  

Apply Moisturizer Consistently

Whether you’re trying to prevent cracked feet or heal them, the solution is the same: stay moisturized. 

Moisturizer balms need to be applied to the soles of the feet daily -- once in the morning and once at night. Using heel balms and ointments that contain shea butter, aloe vera, vitamin E, and glycerin can help lock fluids in your skin and minimize water loss.

While there are various moisturizers out there, we love Like Butter from Topicals. This thick, whipped mask is loaded with powerful botanicals for skin so smooth -- it’s like buttah. 

Plus, it will help boost hydration and fortify your skin’s damaged moisture barrier to help lock in even more moisture — your cracked feet don’t even stand a chance! 

Wear Closed-Back Shoes

Since sandals and shoes with open backs can cause cracked feet, make sure you have a trusty pair of closed shoes to wear when you’re having issues, even if that’s just some sneakers. Trust us, you can have a hot girl summer in sneakers. Taking care of yourself is the most important thing you can do this season. 

Protect your cracked feet by wearing close-backed shoes and cotton socks. 

Don’t Shave Or Peel Your Calluses

When you notice your cracked feet are peeling, it can be tough not to pick at it -- but believe it or not, it’s the worst thing you can do for the health of your feet. Ugh, annoying right? 

Never try to peel off the dead skin by hand or attempt to shave a callus yourself. Why? Because it’s a surefire way to get a terrible infection -- that’s why. 

Use A Liquid Bandage

You can also apply a liquid bandage to deep cracks to seal the wound and prevent infections or further cracking. 

This popular product comes as a spray or gel, which means you can go about your day without worrying about the bandage ever coming off. A liquid bandage is a great option for treating fissures that may bleed. 

Liquid bandages work by creating a strong protective layer over the cracks to help reduce pain, stop dirt and germs from entering the wounds, and aid in faster healing.


Bottom Line

Wearing the wrong shoes or spending a little too much time standing can result in dry, scaly feet and areas of irritated or scaly skin that lack of moisture.

Without treatment, your dry skin can thicken and crack open, leaving the feet vulnerable to infection -- not good! 

You can use a pumice stone, exfoliator and foot soak to remove dry skin from your feet at home. Regularly applying a good quality moisturizer cream and removing dead skin will help keep your feet hydrated, healthy, and happy. 

Here at Topicals, we believe in science-backed ingredients and herbals to work with your skin, not against it. Whether you’re looking to soothe your dry skin or balance a spotty complexion, we have everything you need to feel comfortable, confident, and beautiful. 


Cracked Heel | Dermnet NZ

4 Ways You Can Avoid Stinky Feet | Cleveland Clinic

Repairing a Compromised Skin Barrier in Dermatitis | Journal of Allergy & Therapy