Hidden Causes of Cracked Heels - And What To Do About Them

Cracked heels occur when skin on the feet becomes hardened and dry and then cracks. While not usually a major medical concern, cracked heels can be quite painful and sometimes even debilitating. Deep cracked heels can keep you from walking comfortably throughout the day.

There are many hidden causes of cracked heels. On rare occasions, cracked heels can even be caused by serious underlying medical conditions. This is why it’s important to identify potential causes of cracked skin.

If you’re experiencing cracked heels, consider your daily routine. You may be doing small things each day that contribute to your foot issues. Below, we’ll talk about some of the most common hidden causes of cracked heels – and what you can do about them.

Improper Foot Care

The Problem

Throughout the day, our feet endure a lot. While many people are vigilant about skin care routines, they may neglect basic foot care. Many daily habits can contribute to cracked heels.

What kind of shoes do you wear? Open back shoes like sandals expose your feet to the elements, including plenty of moisture. This can deplete your skin’s natural oils, increasing the likelihood of cracked heels.

Hidden Causes of Cracked Heels

However, exposing footwear is not the only culprit. If your shoes are too tight, the increased pressure can contribute to cracked heels. If you’re walking around in wet or damp areas, are you wearing shoes or boots that leak? Increased exposure to moisture is bad for cracked heels.

Are you making sure to clean and moisturize your feet daily? Just like you wash your face at night or apply lotion before bed, feet need extra care as well. If you don’t bother washing your feet in the shower or applying lotion regularly, all this contributes to cracked heels.

The Solution

First, be conscientious about footwear. Avoid regularly wearing sandals and flip-flops and make sure you only wear shoes that fit properly. If you work outdoors, make sure your footwear does not leak.

Second, adopt a proper foot care routine. Make sure to wash your feet in the shower, as you would any other body part. Use lotion regularly to replenish natural oils lost throughout the day.

We recommend Delfina Dry Skin Oil. Delfina works by penetrating the skin’s layers to get beneath the surface and stimulate hydration.

Many sufferers of cracked heels have experienced dramatic results by using Delfina. Read more about how Delfina works here and see before and after pictures here that show Delfina’s effectiveness for cracked heels.

Your Lifestyle

The Problem

Every day habits can have a detrimental effect on cracked heels. From what you eat to how much you’re on your feet, small lifestyle changes can have a major impact on cracked heels.

Are you eating a balanced diet? A poor diet can create many vitamin deficiencies that can make cracked heels worse. Deficiencies in calcium, iron, vitamin E, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids all contribute to cracked heels.

Do you spend a lot of time on your feet? Standing throughout the day puts excess pressure on your feet. This can stress out the skin on your heels, causing cracking.

The Solution

First, if you’re concerned about your diet, take steps to be healthier. You’re less likely to have vitamin deficiencies if you eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

For foot health specifically, calcium-rich foods like yogurt, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, and collard greens can help, as can foods with plenty of Omega 3 fatty acids like seafoods, nuts, and seeds.

Hidden Causes of Cracked Heels

If you’re on your feet too much, make a habit of periodically sitting down, taking your shoes off, and giving your feet a rest. However, if that isn’t possible due to your job, make sure to give your feet a little extra attention outside of work hours via extra moisturizing. You can even invest in overnight moisturizing socks.

More Serious Causes

Occasionally, hidden causes of cracked heels can be serious. This is one of the reasons it’s important to investigate the cause of cracked heels, especially if they occur in conjunction with other symptoms.

The Problem

Serious conditions like diabetes and arthritis can cause cracked heels. If you notice any other unusual symptoms with your cracked heels – like fatigue, excessive thirst, or joint pain – you should make an appointment with a doctor.

However, not every condition associated with cracked heels is serious. Mild conditions, like psoriasis and athlete’s foot, can also contribute to cracked heels and may not require medical attention.

The Solution

If you think you may have a serious medical condition, make an appointment with your doctor to talk about solutions. With conditions like diabetes and arthritis, the sooner you seek a solution the better.

However, if you have a more mild condition – like psoriasis or athlete’s foot – you may be able to find a solution at home with over-the-counter medications. In addition to helping with cracked heels, Delfina Dry Skin Oil is also an effective solution for psoriasis.


There are many hidden causes of cracked heels, most of which can be rectified with simple lifestyle changes. Small changes to your routine can help you find relief. Evaluate your current lifestyle and foot care routine to see if there are any steps you can take to improve your overall foot health.

If you’re interested to learn more about cracked heels or Delfina Dry Skin Oil, feel free to reach out to us anytime. We understand the importance of a quality skin care routine, especially for those prone to ailments like cracked heels. We’re happy to help in any way we can.