If like many, you start to panic at the sight of your cracked heels at this time of year due to winter neglect, help is at hand!

Don’t be tempted to buy the latest chemical peels promising baby soft feet. They won’t necessarily get rid of the hard skin and may ‘sting’ if they go in the cracks.

You may have everything you need at home, hidden at the back of the bathroom cabinets and your sock drawer!


Step One

Check your footwear isn’t making your cracked heels worse, because if the heel of the shoe has a hard firm edge,  pressure in that area can increase leading to cracks forming.

Flip flops and sandals are the shoes which normally have this type of edge to them and walking barefoot also causes pressure on the heels.

Try instead to wear supportive footwear which fastens and holds your foot in place to reduce the stress and friction on the skin.

Step Two

Dry file your feet before a bath or shower once a week because this will prevent thick hard skin forming and dragging against the thin ‘normal’ skin.

It is advisable to file on dry skin because you are more likely to tear the delicate skin if your skin is wet.

Use a Foot File NOT a pumice or ‘cheese grater’ style file that tend to take off lumps of hard skin, resulting in lumpy callus regrowth.


Step Three

Our team advise using UREA based foot cream that is the ideal humectant moisturiser for the feet and benefits the thicker skin on the soles.

Initially, use a foot cream with a high urea percentage such as 25% if your skin is very dry with patches of hard skin, the urea will help to trap in moisture and break down the callus (keratolytic). A 10% cream is ideal for maintenance.

When applying to the feet use a 10 pence piece amount daily, avoiding in between the toes and concentrating on the cracked heel and areas of hard skin.  For the best effect use twice daily.

Petroleum Jelly has no keratolytic effect on your callus and will not break it down, unlike urea-based creams.

Likewise, aqueous cream is not a specialised emollient for the foot. If the aqueous cream contains SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE (SLS), NICE recommend that it is not used as a ‘leave-on’ moisturiser as it may cause skin reactions and must be washed off.

If you still have cracked heels after all this attention and then there is an intense treatment you can try that is incredibly effective!

Intensive Moisture Wrap Treatment

  • After a bath/shower in the evening, apply a 25% urea foot cream to the cracked heels and across the plantar surface (soles)
  • Apply a clean DAMP sock to both feet
  • Apply a clean DRY sock to both feet
  • Leave on overnight before removing socks in the morning and washing as normal
  • Repeat for 3 nights a week until your skin is soft and the cracks have gone

How can Podiatrists help?

Rest assured, we don’t judge, we’ve seen lots of conditions before so there is no need to feel embarrassed.

In clinic we start by removing hard skin with a sterile scalpel blade, this is a painless procedure.

Then a disposable foot file strip and sanding disc ensure the smoothest skin you’ve ever had!

We also offer ‘Warm Wax Therapy’ in all three of our Podiatry Clinics, which increases hydration levels and blood flow in your feet. It’s our most relaxing and luxurious treatment you can experience, fantastic to get your feet ready for summer!



For further information or to book an appointment telephone


Buxton & Chapel-en-le-Frith Clinic

01298 937921

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Book Online

Bakewell Clinic

01629 259672