Splits in the skin round the heel may be both unpleasant and painful. This issue is because of the thick or dry skin, on and around the periphery of the heels. The skin on the feet is commonly more dry and dehydrated compared to the skin in other places on the rest of the body probably since there are no oil glands in the thicker epidermis on the bottom of the foot. For this reason, your skin around the heels could lose suppleness and elasticity as a result of that lack of moisture. Because of the loads of being on the feet, that dried-out skin may start to split and it can lead to unattractive, painful cracked heels that can sometimes bleed. There are many things which increase the chance for the cracked heels such as higher pressure, increased weight, poor fitting shoes (especially footwear which are open up at the back), inherited genes, unhygienic problems and inadequate footcare, and nutritional deficiencies.
To prevent cracked heels, always try to use properly fitted enclosed shoes which allow your feet to breathe and avoid footwear which are open at the back. It is important to keep well hydrated by consuming a minimum of two litres of water each day because that can help. Exfoliate your skin on a regular basis and moisturise daily with a good ointment. When it is more severe, this probably should be done twice a day to begin with. There are many suggestions that omega 3 and zinc nutritional supplements can help you (however they do need to be used with the other treatments and not in isolation). It would also help to avoid excessive exposure of the foot to water or moist conditions. It is necessary that you wash your feet with tepid to warm water as opposed to hot water. If these kinds of methods do not help, then see a skilled podiatrist. They will get rid of the thicker hard skin and give further advice on the way to self manage.