The cracked skin that you may get at the back of the heels may be a painful problem if it is allowed to develop. This condition happens when the skin around the back of the heel is dryer and thicker than it should typically be. When the callus builds up to make that dry thicker skin, it simply cracks because it is not too supple or adaptable. The crack that happens in the hard skin, then attempts to split or rip the normal skin below it. In the worst cases, this will become painful, could bleed and become an for an infection, so does need to be given serious attention. The reason behind these cracked heels isn’t entirely understood. Some people simply have a tendency to have a dryer skin and some people, because of the way that they walk tend to build up the callus around the sides of the heel. Being overweight is another risk factor for this. Shoes that are open at the back are also believed to play a role in this disorder.
The best way to deal with the cracked heels is to get an expert podiatrist to get rid of the thicker hard skin and then use an lotion to soften the remaining skin. You could try and remove that skin yourself with something such as a pumice stone or file, but that is a lot of effort and needs to be done a lot. The emollient cream used after this needs to be applied on regularly to keep the skin well hydrated and flexible. There is a lot of opinion of what’s the ideal cream or emollient to use is and the best answer is the one which matches your skin. Some trial and error may be required to find the best one. For cracked heels most podiatrists usually advocate starting with a urea based cream.