Cracked skin and its treatment

Skin cracks usually appear in areas which flex or extend during movement such as the bottom of the feet. Cracked skin can be very painful and may lead to problems if left untreated.

Graphical representation of hand washing as a wound treatment step in the Leukoplast wound care advisor.

1. Wash your hands:

Wash and dry your hands thoroughly.
Graphic representation of a pump dispenser to symbolize the application of a skin protectant or moisture barrier in the course of wound treatment.

2. Apply moisturizer:

Apply a moisturizing agent at least twice a day to clean, dry skin: preferably in the morning and before bedtime.
Graphic representation of a hand applying a wound dressing to another wrist to symbolize covering the wound as a treatment step.

3. Cover the wound

Cover the crack to help the moisturizer work better.
“If the crack is located on thumb tip, you can cover it with gauze secured with tape.” 1
“If the crack is located on your heel, wear a pair of cotton socks to bed to help the moisturizer work.” 1

When to seek medical advice

A visit to the doctor is necessary, however, if the crack

  • is deep and chronic 
  • becomes infected.

How to recognize an infected wound

If a wound becomes infected, it may

  • become more painful,
  • be warm to touch,
  • look red or swollen,
  • leak some blood-like liquid, pus or blood,
  • have an unpleasant smell.

If you notice an elevated body temperature (above 99.5 °F) or see any of the signs mentioned, please contact your health care practitioner! 2

When in doubt, see a medical expert

Many common wounds can be dealt with at home. But when should a doctor be consulted? Scroll down for more information!

Pictogram showing a medical expert.