What it is: Dry skin can be caused by anything from long, hot showers to prolonged periods in the sun to medical conditions such as diabetes. Because the feet contain sweat glands but do not produce oil, they are prone to the condition.
How to treat: If the skin around your heels is cracked and flaky, you need to first gently slough off the dead skin using a foot scrub. A good bet: Gilden Tree’s Exfoliating Foot Scrub ($17, gildentree.com). Because the skin around your heels stretches every time you take a step, it is easy to keep reopening the cracked area. Use a superthick salve or cream to coat the area. Try Kiehl’s Intensive Treatment and Moisturizer for Dry or Callused Areas ($26, kiehls.com), best if applied to damp skin after you shower in order to lock in the moisture.