Cracked heels, also known as heel fissures, are a common foot problem, especially during the warm weather months when people enjoy wearing sandals and flip flops. Cracked heels are only a nuisance for most people, but if the cracks are deep, they can be painful and in severe cases can become infected. See your physician if the problem persists, if you have open cuts on your feet or if you are diabetic.
Exfoliate your feet two to three times every week to remove the thick, dry skin from your heels, advises Northwestern Health Sciences University. Use a physical tool such as a wet pumice stone or a piece of extra fine sandpaper. Alternatively, use an exfoliating foot cream. Exfoliate in the shower or after soaking your feet in a basin of warm water for 10 minutes.
Pat your feet with a soft towel until they are completely dry, then apply petroleum jelly or a thick lotion. Apply lotion to your feet before bed, then wear a pair of cotton socks to soften your feet while you sleep.
Continue treatment until the cracks in your feet have healed. Continue to use lotion regularly to keep the skin on your heels soft and supple and to help prevent cracked heels.