Cracks in the skin at the back and sides of the heel are unsightly and could be painful. They are reasonably common, particularly in those people who are susceptible to them. These splits in the skin about the heel occur when the skin is thicker and dry. As the fat under the heel expands out sideways when walking puts pressure on the skin that it may not take, so the skin just tears or cracks. The wearing of open back sandals also contributes to the problem. Various medical problems can also contribute to the dryness of the skin and a numerous biomechanical problems contribute to the thickening of the skin.

When a split happens, it will have to be taken care of as it can act as a entrance to have an infection to get in. First of all, an antiseptic should be used to avoid that if the crack is open. It is next important to take off the thick callus around the peripheray of the heel. This can be carried out by a experienced podiatrist if you have access to one. If not, you will want to use something such as a foot file, pumice stone or emery board and get to work on removing it. This may take a great deal of effort. Once that thickened skin is removed, then it is important to use creams and ointments to make the skin elastic and flexible so it doesn't have the inclination to split. Urea based lotions are usually better for that. Once this initial problem is dealt with, then preventative measures need to be put in place to continue with otherwise the problem will probably happen again. Occasional use of a foot file or similar is advised to keep the callused skin down and regular use of a urea based cream is important to help make the skin resistant to splitting and prevent the dryness. Staying away from open back footwear is also encouraged.