Louise West Berkshire Foot Clinic
 By Louise Rehill
West Berkshire Foot Clinic

I am frequently telling people to use cream on their feet, but which foot cream is best and how do we make it work best for our feet?

Why do I need to cream my feet?

There are many reasons to why we should all cream our feet. 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:

1) Weather
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.

2) Age
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 creams and lotions on the market but how do you know which one to try?
The answer is: it’s not a one 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.

Dry skin

Poorly hydrated skin simply requires a good, non-greasy cream such as Gehwol Soft Foot cream. I like their milk and honey range and all of my patients are treated to this being applied at the end of
each treatment. I like this cream as it is easily applied and easily absorbed leaving a non-greasy finish meaning you can get straight into bed or put shoes on without the fear of slipping or staining the
sheets. 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 cream 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!

Hard skin

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. 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 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 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 cream to the market. Foot mender is a Swedish 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 these creams can be purchased at competitive prices from the clinic direct. So please contact us today if you would like to purchase any. We can also post direct.

Happy creaming!

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