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How to Heal Bleeding Cracked Heels: Causes and Treatment Options

Cracked Heels

Are bleeding cracked heels causing you pain and discomfort? Don't worry, you're not alone. Cracked heels can be a common problem for many individuals, often resulting from dry and dehydrated skin. Not only can this condition be unsightly, but it can also lead to bleeding and infections if left untreated. Fortunately, there are effective treatment options available to help heal your cracked heels and bring you relief.

In this article, we will explore the causes behind bleeding cracked heels and provide you with practical tips to treat and prevent them. From understanding the factors that contribute to cracked heels to knowing the right foot hygiene and skincare routine, we've got you covered. We will also delve into professional treatments and medical interventions that can help heal your heels and restore their health.

Let's dive in and discover how to heal your cracked heels effectively.

Causes of bleeding cracked heels

Bleeding cracked heels occur when the skin on your heels becomes dry, thick, and cracked. The pressure and friction from walking or standing can cause these cracks to deepen, leading to bleeding. Several factors contribute to the development of bleeding cracked heels, including:

  1. Dry Skin: Lack of moisture is one of the primary causes of cracked heels. When the skin on your heels becomes dry, it loses its elasticity and is more prone to cracking.
  2. Dehydration: Not drinking enough water can lead to dry skin, including on your heels. Staying hydrated is crucial for maintaining the health of your skin.
  3. Excessive Pressure: Continuous pressure on the heels, such as wearing ill-fitting shoes or standing for long periods, can cause the skin to crack and bleed.
  4. Lack of Proper Foot Care: Neglecting proper foot hygiene, such as not moisturizing or exfoliating your feet regularly, can contribute to the development of cracked heels.
  5. Taking long hot showers or using harsh soaps can also dry out the skin and damage the natural skin barrier, worsening the problem.
  6. Dry and Cold Weather: During the winter months or in arid climates, the air tends to be drier, which can strip the moisture from your skin and lead to cracked heels.
  7. Obesity: Excess weight can put additional pressure on your feet, causing the skin to crack and bleed more easily.
  8. Medical Conditions: Certain medical conditions like diabetes, psoriasis, eczema, thyroid disorders, and fungal infections can increase your risk of developing cracked heels.

Common Symptoms of Bleeding Cracked Heels

Bleeding cracked heels can cause discomfort and pain, but they can also lead to more serious complications if left untreated. Some common symptoms of bleeding cracked heels include:

  1. Pain and Discomfort: Cracked heels can cause pain when walking or standing, making it difficult to perform daily activities.
  2. Bleeding: Deep cracks in the skin can cause bleeding, especially when pressure is applied.
  3. Infections: Open wounds from cracked heels create an entry point for bacteria and fungi, increasing the risk of infections.
  4. Deep Fissures: If left untreated, cracked heels can deepen and develop into deep fissures, which are more challenging to heal.

It's essential to address bleeding cracked heels promptly to prevent complications and ensure a speedy recovery.

Proper Foot Hygiene for healing bleeding cracked heels

Proper foot hygiene plays a crucial role in preventing and treating bleeding cracked heels. Here are some tips to incorporate into your daily routine:

  1. Regular Moisturization: Apply a rich moisturizer or foot cream to your heels daily, focusing on the areas with cracks. Look for products containing  ingredients like urea or lactic acid, which can help soften the skin.
  2. Exfoliation: Gently exfoliate your feet using a foot scrub or pumice stone to remove dead skin cells and promote new cell growth. Avoid over-exfoliating, as it can cause further damage to your skin. People with diabetes must be extra cautious with any abrasive tools because of the risk to their already sensitive skin,
  3. Proper Footwear: Wear comfortable, well-fitting shoes that provide adequate support and cushioning. Avoid shoes with open backs or high heels, as they can contribute to the development of cracked heels.
  4. Avoid Prolonged Moisture: While moisturizing is important, it's equally crucial to keep your feet dry, as excessive moisture can soften the skin and make it more prone to cracking. Dry your feet thoroughly after bathing or swimming, paying special attention to the areas between your toes.
  5. Hydrate: Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Hydrated skin is less likely to become dry and cracked.

By incorporating these foot hygiene practices into your daily routine, you can significantly reduce the risk of bleeding cracked heels and promote overall foot health.

Medical treatments for severe cases

In addition to practicing proper foot hygiene, several over-the-counter treatments can help heal bleeding cracked heels. These products are readily available at pharmacies and can provide relief and promote healing. Here are some options to consider:

  1. Medicated Heel Balms: Look for heel balms or creams that contain ingredients like urea or alpha-hydroxy acids such as lactic acid. These ingredients help soften and exfoliate the skin, promoting healing.
  2. Moisture-Retaining Socks: Moisture-retaining socks are specially designed to lock in moisture and increase the effectiveness of moisturizers. They provide an added layer of protection to your cracked heels and enhance the healing process.
  3. Silicone Heel Sleeves: Silicone heel sleeves or cushions can provide cushioning and protection to cracked heels, preventing further damage and promoting healing.

Before using any over-the-counter treatment, carefully read the instructions and follow them accordingly. If you have any underlying medical conditions or are unsure about which product to choose, consult a healthcare professional for guidance.

A Rapid Healing Cream for treating bleeding cracked heels

SkinIntegra’s Rapid Crack Repair Cream is a novel repair moisturizer that was specifically formulated to help restore cracked heels in individuals with compromised skin such as people with diabetes or psoriasis prone skin. Its patented composition is the result of research into all the components of a healthy skin barrier. For that reason, it includes the essential moisturizing and lipid ingredients naturally found in a healthy skin barrier such as urea, lactic acid, hyaluronic acid for moisturizers and essential fatty acids, natural oils and ceramides for lipids. 

Dr. Dawn Buratti, a podiatrist in Encino California wrote about Rapid Crack Repair Cream that “Patients with severely cracked heels universally say they see improvement in 3 days.” 

Rapid Crack Repair Cream  is free of common skin irritants which can cause a reaction and slow the natural healing process in diabetic skin such as fragrances, dyes, parabens and other harsh preservatives, petroleum-based ingredients, and phthalates.

Preventive measures to avoid bleeding cracked heels

For severe cases of bleeding cracked heels that do not respond to over-the-counter treatments, medical interventions may be necessary. A healthcare professional, such as a podiatrist, can recommend the most suitable treatment options based on your specific condition. Some medical treatments for severe cases of bleeding cracked heels include:

  1. Prescription Medications: In certain cases, prescription medications like corticosteroid creams or ointments may be prescribed to reduce inflammation and promote healing.
  2. Debridement: Debridement is a procedure performed by a healthcare professional to remove dead or infected tissue from the cracked heels, allowing healthy skin to grow.
  3. Laser Therapy: Laser therapy can be used to stimulate the healing process and promote the growth of new, healthy skin.
  4. Medical Footwear: In some cases, specialized footwear or orthotics may be recommended to provide additional support and reduce pressure on the heels.

It's important to consult a healthcare professional to determine the best course of treatment for your specific condition. They can assess the severity of your cracked heels and recommend the most appropriate medical intervention.

When to seek medical attention

Prevention is always better than cure when it comes to bleeding cracked heels. By incorporating these preventive measures into your routine, you can reduce the risk of developing cracked heels:

  1. Maintain a Healthy Diet: A healthy diet rich in vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin E, vitamin C, and omega-3 fatty acids, can promote overall skin health and prevent dryness.
  2. Avoid Harsh Soaps: Harsh soaps and detergents can strip the natural oils from your skin, leading to dryness. Opt for mild, moisturizing cleansers instead.
  3. Wear Breathable Shoes: Choose shoes made from breathable materials like leather or canvas that allow air circulation and prevent excessive moisture buildup.
  4. Use Foot Creams Regularly: Apply a foot cream or moisturizer to your feet daily, paying special attention to your heels. Look for products like SkinIntegra’s Rapid Crack Repair Cream that contain ingredients like shea butter or glycerin, which help lock in moisture.
  5. Regularly Trim and File Your Nails: Long nails can cause discomfort and put pressure on your toes, leading to cracked heels. Keep your nails trimmed and file any rough edges to prevent unnecessary friction.
  6. Avoid Going Barefoot: Walking barefoot, especially on rough surfaces, can increase the risk of developing cracked heels. Wear socks or slippers indoors to protect your feet.

By following these preventive measures, you can significantly reduce the risk of developing bleeding cracked heels and maintain the health of your feet.


In most cases, bleeding cracked heels can be effectively treated at home. However, there are instances when you should seek medical attention:

  1. Severe Pain or Discomfort: If your cracked heels are causing severe pain or discomfort that affects your daily activities, it's advisable to consult a healthcare professional for further evaluation.
  2. Presence of Infection: If you notice signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, warmth, or pus around your cracked heels, seek medical attention. Infections require prompt treatment to prevent complications and further spread.
  3. Diabetes or Other Underlying Medical Conditions: If you have diabetes or any other underlying medical conditions that affect your circulation or immune system, it's essential to consult a healthcare professional for appropriate treatment and management.
  4. Persistent or Worsening Symptoms: If your bleeding cracked heels do not improve or worsen despite home remedies and over-the-counter treatments, it's recommended to seek medical advice for further evaluation.

Remember, it's always better to err on the side of caution and consult a healthcare professional if you have any concerns about your bleeding cracked heels.