Farriers Cracked Heel Cream contains three pure essential oils known for their anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and antiseptic properties. Made from natural emollients specifically chosen to prevent and treat cracked heels . This cream softens the scabs and promotes healthy skin growth. Incorporated into this cream is a barrier ingredient to help keep the affected area dry. Can also be used to help prevent mud attaching to the lower legs in boggy, wet conditions. Cracked Heels is not a single disease but can be seen in differing forms. It occurs especially in warm, wet weather, and is associated with a number of causes. It is certainly not limited to horses that are paddling knee deep in mud! Cracked Heels can range from a mild skin irritation to very painful infected sores, and can in some cases cause significant swelling with severe lameness. The condition affects the lower limb, most commonly the back of the pastern. It starts off as matted hair with dry crusts, caused by the inflamed skin weeping. When the same condition occurs on the upper body it is referred to as “rain scald” The bacterium Dermatophilus congolensis causes cracked heels and under normal circumstances this bacterium lives in soil as spores and can survive from year to year. These spores become activated by wet weather and this is why we see the condition when the ground is wet. This bacterium cannot invade healthy skin. In the winter the rain and mud soften the skin, constant wetting and drying of the legs causes the skin in this area to chap, and then the bacteria can enter. Indeed anything which breaks the skin such as a small cut or wound can allow the bacteria to invade. For this reason muddy conditions are not always necessary for cracked heels to occur. Some horses seem more prone than others and this is because their skin is a less efficient barrier to infection.