These cracks appear on the soles of the heels themselves and the area around them. The skin can be hard, dry or flaking. Cracked heels can start off as a mere aesthetic inconvenience and develop into more serious health problems. In fact, the cracks can become deep, bleed or get infected. Caution is the rule here, especially in diabetic and immunocompromised individuals. The most common cause of cracked heels is dry skin, also known as xerosis. This condition can worsen when wearing open heel shoes, with excessive friction in the shoes and during temperature changes. Dry, cracked skin can also be a sign of an underlying disease.