Splits in the skin at the back and sides of the heel are unattractive and can be painful. They are fairly common, particularly in those who are predisposed to them. These kinds of splits in the skin about the heel occur when the skin is thicker and dry. As the fat bad under the heel expands out sideways when walking puts strain on the skin that it may not take, so the skin just tears or cracks. The wearing of open back sandals also plays a role in the cracked heels. Some medical conditions might also contribute to the dryness of the skin and a numerous biomechanical problems contribute to the thickening of the skin.
Once a split happens and cracked heels occur, it will have to be dealt with as it might act as a portal for an infection to get in. Firstly, an antiseptic needs to be used to avoid that if the split is open. It is next important to remove the thick callus about the periphery of the heel. This can be carried out by a skilled podiatrist for those who have access to one. If not, you'll need to use something such as a foot file, pumice stone or emery board and get to work on removing the callus. This may take a great deal of work. As soon as that thickened skin is taken care of, then it is important to use creams and ointments to help make the skin supple and flexible so it does not have the propensity to split. Urea based ointments are usually much better for that. When this initial problem is dealt with, then preventative measures ought to be put in place to continue with or else the problem probably will happen again. Periodic use of a foot file or similar is recommended to keep the callused skin down and frequent use of a urea based ointment is important to make the skin resilient to splitting and prevent the dryness. Keeping away from open back shoes is also advised.