Splits in the skin about the heel will be both unpleasant and painful. This condition is because of the thick or dry skin, on and round the periphery of the heels. The skin on your feet is generally more dry and dehydrated than the skin in other places on the rest of the body probably as there are no oil glands within the thicker epidermis on the bottom of the feet. Because of this, the skin around the heels can lose flexibility and elasticity due to that deficiency of moisture. Due to the stresses of weightbearing, that dried-out skin may start to split and it can cause unsightly, painful cracked heels that may at times bleed. There are a number of factors that increase the risk for the cracked heels such as higher loads, increased bodyweight, poor fitting footwear (particularly footwear which are open at the back), inherited genes, unhygienic problems and inadequate self-care, as well as nutritional inadequacies.
To prevent cracked heels, always attempt to wear well fitted enclosed footwear that permit your feet to breathe and avoid footwear that are open at the back. You should keep well hydrated by drinking no less than two litres of water daily because that will help. Exfoliate your skin on a regular basis and moisturise daily with a good ointment. Should the cracked heels be more serious, this probably should be carried out twice a day initially. There are a few suggestions that omega-3 and zinc supplements may also help (however they really do need to be used with all the other treatment options and not in isolation). It would also help to avoid too much exposure of the foot to water or damp conditions. It is necessary that you clean your feet with warm water as opposed to very hot water. If these types of approaches don't help, then visit a expert podiatrist. They will get rid of the thicker hard skin and provide additional advice on how you can self manage.