I am frequently telling people to use foot cream on their feet, but which foot cream is best and how do you make it work best for your feet?
Why do I need to use foot cream on my feet?
There are many reasons to why we should all use foot cream on our feet. Firstly consider your skin as an elastic band
As the elastic band becomes dryer it cracks and splits. A brand-new elastic band which has lots of moisture in it will be supple and stretch and recoil as it moves. Consider your skin to be the elastic band, the dryer your skin the more cracks that will appear. The cracks can cause painful splits and be an entry point for infections such as athletes’ foot and verrucae.
Our skin dries more due to 2 reasons:
As the weather is warming up and our feet are in sandals more our feet will be taking a beating, particularly the heel area. The heel area will run on the edge of the sandal and cause friction which can result is callus. The sun will also dry our skin out meaning our skin is usually dryer in the summer months. We need to add moisture lost back to the skin.
Our skin becomes less hydrated as we age as we sweat less. Our sweat has natural moisturisers in it meaning we need to replenish this moisture with emollients to rehydrate our skin.
We therefore need to add the moisture back to our skin to enable it to move, flex and recoil more easily.
There are so many foot creams and lotions on the market but how do you know which one to try?
The answer is: it’s not a one foot cream fits all! Everyone’s skin reacts differently to different creams. However, the guide should help you narrow the choice depending on what condition your feet are currently in. Avoid normal body moisturisers as these are not designed for your feet which is very different from the skin on the rest of your body.
Poorly hydrated skin simply requires a good, non-greasy foot cream such as Gehwol Soft Foot cream. I like their milk and honey range because it isn’t greasy and doesn’t smell too chemically. Its also not too thick – some foot creams can be like layering Vaseline onto your skin! I use this on all of my patients are treated to this being applied at the end of each treatment. If applied twice daily continuously after a few weeks any dry skin should be back to normal, however you need to continue creaming your feet regularly after resolving the problem to ensure the problem doesn’t return!!
Itchy peeling skin
If you skin is itchy, red, shiny with peeling or flaking areas you are likely to be suffering from athletes’ foot. A foot cream will not improve this condition and you need a cream with an antifungal agent before you embark on a creaming routine. A treatment such as Lamisil once which has terbinafine as the active ingredient will treat this problem. I like this treatment as it’s a one-off treatment. After a shower you use the whole tube over both feet, up to the ankle bones. The next day you wash it off and that’s the treatment done! Once this course of treatment is complete, it is good practice to keep the skin well hydrated with a daily application of something like gehwol soft feet to prevent a further attack of athlete’s foot!
If you have hard skin or callus, you need to keep the skin hydrated but you need a cream with some extra oomph! Something with urea as the main ingredient will do the trick. Foot creams with 25% urea are the best such as flexitol heel balm. Again these need to be applied twice daily and once the problem is under control reduced to once a day and continued to prevent the problem returning. Hard skin is also best treated by reducing the thickness of callus by visiting a podiatrist to have the hard skin removed and filing the area with a diamond deb file little and often to prevent its return!
The key to most of the foot creams is once the skin is under control to continue to maintain the hard work applying cream daily. It’s one of those things to add to your routine and get into a rhythm. All too many times I have seen feet look fantastic after an intensive course of treatment with a foot cream, but return quickly back to normal if the patient gets complacent! For those that haven’t the time to cream twice daily, or easily forget there is a lovely new foot cream to the market. Foot mender is a Swedish foot cream which can be applied every 2-3 days for the same effect. They recommend if you haven’t already got the skin under control to apply daily for 7 days then this can be reduced to 2-3 days.
All of the foot creams mentioned can be purchased at competitive prices from the clinic directly. So please contact us today if you would like to purchase any. We can also post direct.