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Why are my heels cracking?

The skin on the bottom of my heels is beginning to crack and become itchy. What is going on? I don't really do anything that would irritate the bottom of my feet. Is this a skin condition of some kind?
It is common for many people to have cracking of the bottom of their heels that comes because of the dryness of that part of the foot. Some people are especially prone to this problem, such as those that have other skin conditions or people that wear footware with open heels. For example, those that wear sandals in dry climates will often have this complaint. The best solution for the problem is to increase the moisture of the area, and keep further moisture from leaving the body via the cracks. This can be done with a heavy duty moisturizing cream, which is available over the counter. Wearing closed shoes can also be helpful. They even make pads that can be worn over the heal to help keep the moisture in, which provide relief to some people. The key is to make sure that the area does not become infected with a bacteria or progress to serious breakdown of the skin. People with a poor vascular supply, such as diabetics, should have someone examine their feet regularly to make sure that there are no wounds that are not healing appropriately, as these can progress to become serious infections that at time require amputation. Please speak to your doctor.
This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.

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