It’s important to moisturize your heels twice a day, especially in the winter months. Look for a thick moisturizer, if available, one that contains skin-softening agents, such as urea, salicylic acid or alpha hydroxyl acid, which may help to remove dead skin. They may cause a possibility of slight stinking or irritation.
Try giving your heels extra attention before going to bed. Begin by soaking your feet for about 10 minutes in plain or soapy water, and then pat dry. Then gently rub your heels with a foot scrubber to remove dead skin. Apply a heavier, oil-based cream or petroleum jelly, and then slip on a pair of thin cotton socks at bedtime to help the moisturizer work.
Don’t ignore your dry or cracked heels, as over time you may develop fissures, which increases your risk of infection. If self-care doesn’t help, discuss with your doctor about other treatment options.