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In more detail.

The stratum cornium or surface layer of skin is made up of dead keratinocytes (skin cells) that have maintain strong bonds with neighboring cells, this essentially forms a waterproof layer. The stratum cornium can thicken in response to repetative trauma, like walking long distances regularly, to form a callus. Callus can either be physiological: forms a thickened layer to protect the live skin from trauma, or pathological: causing pain and/or cracking/fissuring. Once these fissures form the thick skin on the edges dies out, this exacerbates the fissure because every step causes the dry skin to pull against the wound opening it a little more.

In humans we treat fissures by removing the excess and dry skin with a scalpel (it's dead tissue so it doesn't hurt) then covering the wound to keep it from drying out and restarting the cycle. Once there is no skin break an active emollient is used daily until the skin looks normal to make sure the edges do not dry out again. It is then used up to three times a week to reduce the risk of reoccurrence.

This is just background so you know the information I'm working with when I suggest talking to your vet about emollients. I do not suggest taking a scalpel to your pet's foot or treating at all without consulting a veterinarian.
 

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My skin is far from healthy, I have diabetes and very dry cracking skin. I also use it on cuts. All I know is that it really helps my skin and helps cuts heal faster. It also has antibacterial, anti fungal and antiviral properties. I'm not saying it's the best thing to use, I'm just saying that it works very well and can't hurt.
It's still an emollient so it will have an effect and I'm glad it works for you, often the biggest issue with cracking is getting people to use anything regularly.
 
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