2 March 2022

How to treat cracked heels for sandal season

Here’s our guide to getting your feet looking smooth.

Member comments

Get access to comment

Noel B.
08 Mar 2022
Sandpaper

Just use sand paper to file the hard skin off your heals. It works a treat! Not fine sandpaper but rather the coarser grade for wood working. I’ve suffered from cracked heals since a kid. The problem is I go barefoot and wear jandals. That’s life! Sandpaper followed by moisturiser is best. Cheap and effective.

Michael C.
07 Mar 2022
Abrasive cloth for cracked heel treatment.

For years I have used a 40mm by 400mm strip of 80 grit abrasive cloth which I pull back and forth across my cracked heels when dry. Very effective at producing a pile of white powder which the ants carry of with gusto. I then follow up with 10% urea cream. Agree that regular treatment is helpful and I usually wear socks with my sandals.

Mike C

Esme P.
05 Mar 2022
Cracked heels

I have had some success/relief from cracked heels after using Scholl Eulactol Heel Balm GOLD. I rub it in and wear socks for a couple of hours. 3-4 doses usually solves the immediate problem. I also moisturise with Cetomacrogol & Glycerol C ream recommended by my doctor for dry skin. All that seems to work but you do have to keep doing it regularly.

Linda H.
05 Mar 2022
one contributing cause sodium lauryl sulphate in shampoos

A small item in New Scientist 16.4.19 said "one cause can be sodium lauryl sulphate, an ionic surfactant in many hygiene products which is removes oils from the skin. Most shampoos and conditioners also contain SLS and this could contribute to cracked heels in those who stand in the shower while washing their hair." That writer switched from shower gel to normal soap with noticeable improvement. I swapped to an eco-shampoo, as well as always pumicing my heels in the shower, and it's been much better since. Though right now I do have a small crack after 10 hot days in barefeet and jandals. But that's cultural, eh.

Lynsie Anne M.
05 Mar 2022
Cheap and effective

From someone who can suffer from painful foot cracks in the summer, mostly big toe cracks but also heels.
Fatty cream from the chemist. Cheap as chips, $4-$5 for half a kilo. Apply generously before bed and then sleep with socks on. I wear sandals/jandals half the time and then when my feet get dry and start to crack I wear shoes and socks (cream on first) for a couple of days. Works well. Podiatrist 3 monthly if you can afford it.

Sandra H.
05 Mar 2022
No more cracked heels

I can't use soap and for years have been prescribed 'Getomacrogol & Glycerol Cream' (Sorbolene). It's an excellent moisturiser - no dry heels or peeling after spending too long in the sun. Note: it is NOT a sun protection cream.
I don't spend a lot of money on expensive face and body creams.
So far as I'm aware it can be bought across the counter at a pharmacist.

John K.
05 Mar 2022
Sand the edges

I use sandpaper for removing all the dry skin (on feet and thumbs too).
When that's done and there are no edges, then apply lip balm.

Dwayne B.
05 Mar 2022
Interesting solution.

What grade paper do you use?

John K.
09 Mar 2022
For Dwayne

Usually finer sandpaper. The trick is to take off all the edges even down to pink skin on both sides of the crack. Then soften it with lip balm. Counter intuitively, I've found the main challenge is to get rid of the crack's hard sides since these will not allow for any healing. So, make the skin as soft and pliable as possible.