The Ultimate Guide to Treating Dry, Cracked Heels


What Causes Dry, Cracked Heels?


There are a variety of factors that may cause dry, cracked heels. The most common include:

  • Cold weather
  • Showering in hot water
  • Medical conditions, like diabetes
  • Standing and walking for long periods of time 

Calluses may form, creating flaky, dry skin - This indicates that the skin barrier is damaged. If the callus goes untreated for a long period of time, healthy skin cells will begin to lose their elasticity which may cause the callus to thicken. 

This situation may be alleviated at home by moisturizing and exfoliating regularly, showering in cool water (or limiting time in hot water), and avoiding products with fragrance. In more serious cases, a pedicure and/or medical attention may be necessary. 


How to Treat Dry, Cracked Heels


There are times that dry, cracked heels can’t be treated with at-home remedies or drug store products. Dry pedicure are a painless and more effective approach to treating calluses on the feet. Follow these steps to understand how to perform a dry pedicure to reduce fissures and calluses:


Step 1: Spray Podoexpert Shoe and Foot Deodorant 

Spray the entire foot with the Podoexpert Shoe and Foot Deodorant to remove any microbes and eliminate any smell. 


Step 2: Spray Podoexpert Callus Softener 

Spray the entire bottom part of the foot with the Podoexpert Callus Softener and rub it in. Let it sit for 2-3 minutes to allow the urea to break down the dead skin cells. 


Step 3: Start to Debulk the Callus

Take the pedicure carbide tapered barrel and run over the thickest parts of the callus (Note: Only use the carbide on very callused skin). Run the carbide bit at a high speed and use gentle pressure. 

Keep in mind that some individuals may have neuropathy, meaning that their feet may be numb to pain and/or changes in temperature. Because of this, always check for signs of heat by feeling the skin (ex: warm to touch) and if the skin has been taken down enough (ex: shiny, pink skin). 


Step 4: Reduce Fissures

Cracks in calluses may cause sensitivity issues, so switch over to the carbide pedi sphere to exfoliate the cracks even more so. You could use the pedicure carbide tapered barrel, but the sphere is the best option for working directly with fissures. Run the bit at 26,000 RPM.

Trace over the fissure with light pressure.


Step 5: Soften the Skin

After using the carbide bit, you’ll want to take one of our new diamond pedicure bits (medium/coarse or coarse/X coarse) to smooth the skin. Since this bit is made with diamond, it will exfoliate the dead skin cells off of the foot and soften the rough ridges of the callus. Run the diamond pedicure bit at 20,000+ RPM with light pressure. 

While using the pedi skin bit on dry, cracked heels, use the side of your hand as the fulcrum. You can move the bit in a circular or linear motion.




Step 6: Moisturize

Use Podoexpert Dry to Cracked Skin Foam - Make sure to keep the bottle upright that way all of the ingredients mix evenly. Cover the entire foot, and massage it into the skin.

We love the foam application of Podoexpert Skin Foams because it allows the skin-repairing ingredients to actually penetrate the skin AND the foam goes so much further than lotions (one 125ml can contains 80 applications).



For more detailed e-file dry pedicure steps, check out our YouTube video here




If you decide to perform a pedicure to treat cracked heels, remember to do it dry because you don’t want moisture getting into the fissures and calluses. A dry pedicure is also more effective and will lead to overall better results compared to soaking in a basin. If you're performing a dry pedicure on someone else, make sure to protect yourself during the process by wearing the following:


  • Surgical cap or hat 
  • Eye protection
  • K95 mask 


Always ensure that your clients are comfortable during the process. Ask questions and watch for signs of sensitivity. We want you to be able to provide the best services possible, and part of that is constantly communicating with your client. 

Interested in learning more about dry pedicures and manicures? Check out “The Future of Manicures is Dry” blog!
April 20, 2023 — Erica Schlabach