When the skin of your heel always crack and peel, it is not only an indication of dry skin but also a postural imbalance. Of course, you can try to keep the area clean and dry through wearing slippers and applying creams to the heels consistently. This helps the problem on the surface only.
After a few years, you may start noticing that you have corresponding knee, hip and/or lower back pain that accompanies the cracked heel.
Why the skin around the heel area cracks or become dry
Reason being is due to additional pressure and unnatural weight distribution on the heel as we land each time we walk, run or move. The pain or chronic discomfort that comes after a few years would indicate that either there is some muscle imbalance (ie some muscles too tight) or our posture is wrong. If there is more pronounced cracks on one particular heel, it means that that particular leg is absorbing more pressure. There may be accompanying knee or pain on the hip area on that particular side. For example, if your right knee seemed to have more serious skin peeling, it could indicate that anywhere- from the right pelvic bone all the way to the ankle angle positioning that could be misaligned.
If accompanied by numbness, it indicates the circulation in the area is not flowing well.
People with knock knees could be experiencing peeling around the heel area.
That goes to say that if there is postural imbalance, intense and ballistic exercises would actually put more pressure on the joints- ankles, knees, hips, pelvic and lower back. It can cause more severe damage to the joints- when one is young, one do not feel the effect. But with age and wear and tear, the pain would come in. So doing intensive exercise would eventually make a person with bow legs or knocked knees worse. One got to correct the posture first.
Still, it does not mean that you should not exercise. Exercise is important to help the circulation moving and prevent toxin accumulation at the joints or lymph in your body. So the worst thing you could do to your condition is not to exercise. Without exercise, the muscles around the joints would not be able to help your joints absorb the pressure each time you walk (remember Newton law # 3- each action equals reaction- that means the more forceful your feet hits the ground, the more force the equal and opposite force comes back to your body). Your exercise should be gentle you should avoid intensive exercises where you pound your weight to the floor. So swimming, cycling, yoga, ball exercises would be good.
What you can do
I doubt conventional medicine could do much on postural except to offer surgery to correct certain imbalances. But that is a bit drastic. What you can do is to perhaps consult chiropractors, or professionals who are trained to help you correct postural and muscle imbalances.
And- avoid wearing shoes with heels if you can. Wearing shoes with heels (like high heels shoes for the ladies or higher heel level in most shoes for men and women- even in expensive comfortable shoes) would make your condition worse. Instead, you need to wear the type of flat shoes with a slightly sunken heels like the one below:
Notice that the heel area is slightly sinked at the heel area. If you do to a podiatrist, the shoes would cost hundreds of dollars. But now, I see this type of shoes selling at department stores (In Malaysia you can find in Jaya Jusco under Hawke brand and they’re below RM50- cheaper if there are sales).
So, you need not wear expensive shoes by Clarks or Snowfly- because shoes with heels are not suitable if you have cracked heels. I know that when you are working, it is no appropriate to wear slippers to office- so what you can do is to wear comfortable covered flat shoes (for ladies, the ballet type shoes).