In the pharmacy, an array of foot-care products awaits patients who can't stand it anymore.
Common foot problems often stem from painful, achy feet. Whether the causes are plantar fasciitis, plantar warts, corns and calluses, bunions, or blisters, the pain is real and needs attention. A number of over-the-counter options can address these problems, and pharmacists should know what kinds of products are best suited for consumers.
Dry, cracked skin is also problematic, as it can itch and burn. Daily care with foot creams and lotions can keep one’s feet in good shape. However, sometimes exfoliating products such as cleansing pads and paste can help alleviate toughened or rough skin.
Whatever the problem, a range of products can ease the pain and dryness. Here are a few to consider.
To relieve heel pain from plantar fasciitis and heel spurs, consumers may consider Dr. Scholl’s P.R.O. Pain Relief Orthotics for Heel from Merck Consumer Care Products. These orthotics provide all-day pain relief by helping to cushion the heel and provide much-needed arch support. The product has a tapered design to allow enough room for the toes. It’s available in women’s sizes 5 to 12 and men’s sizes 8 to 12.
Individuals who are on their feet all day and need pain relief in the heel, arch, and ball of the foot should try Dr. Scholl’s Tri-Comfort Orthotics. They can be easily placed on the insoles of different kinds of shoes, including dress shoes, work shoes, and casual shoes, and there is no need to trim. The orthotics typically last about 6 months.
For those who want a more customized fit, Dr. Scholl’s Custom Fit Kiosk with foot-mapping technology may be the answer. Consumers step on the platform and within moments the machine can recommend the right CustomFit Orthotic Insert on the basis of arch type, foot length, and pressure points. According to the company, these orthotic inserts provide all-day relief for achy feet, at a fraction of the cost of other custom orthotic inserts.
For removal of common plantar warts, Dr. Scholl’s Clear Away Wart Remover Ultra-Thin Discs are an easy and effective option. Using salicylic acid, this wart removal disc safely softens and destroys the wart tissue, so that it loosens and falls off. The thin disc design with cover-up can easily hide the wart as the skin heals. (http://www.drscholls.com/Products/HeelPainReliefOrthotics)
Bunions can be incredibly painful, so finding suitable products to protect bunions is essential. PediFix Visco Gel Bunion Guard makes wearing shoes much easier for bunions located near the big toe. The Visco-Gel releases mineral oil and vitamin E to soften the bunion tissue. This product promises a good fit in just about any type of footwear and can be washed and reused for several months. If the gel becomes tacky, a bit of talcum powder will facilitate easy placement over the bunion joint. The manufacturer cautions against use on an open wound. (www.healthyfeetstore.com/pedifix-bunion-guard-visco-gel.html)
Another bunion pain-reliever, FootSmart Bunion Sleeve With Gel, is an ultra-thin nylon/spandex sleeve and gel pad combination that helps to relieve bunion pressure, discomfort, and pain. Just slip the sleeve over the foot before putting on socks or stockings. It is thin enough to fit most shoes while providing superior cushioning. The sleeve should be hand-washed in cold water and air-dried. It is not recommended for individuals with diabetes or poor circulation and should not be used on open wounds, according to the manufacturer. (www.FootSmart.com)
For those with painful ingrown toenails, try the Visco-GEL Toe Protectors, which fit any toe size. The stretchable toe protectors, lined with soothing vitamin-enriched gel, fit easily over any toe to help heal dry and cracked skin and relieve painful ingrown toenails. These protectors are available as four 2.5-inch tubes and can be trimmed to fit. They are washable for reuse, according to the manufacturer. (www.FeelGoodStore.com)
Johnson & Johnson’s Band-Aid Advanced Healing Blister Cushion for Fingers & Toes is no ordinary bandage. With its cushioning gel pad, this advanced healing bandage relieves pain while protecting your blister. It can even be used on open blisters. It is waterproof and stays in place for use over several days. This flexible pad conforms to the skin for greater comfort and seals against germs to prevent infection. Each package provides eight 2.6- by 0.67-inch bandages.
For cuts that need protection and help to heal, consumers can use Band-Aid Brand Antibiotic Bandages. Infection protection is provided by antibiotic ointment already applied to the protective pad. The bandages are available in several sizes and include a style with waterproof protection, if needed. This newest Band-Aid Brand product is designed with flexible fabric, in clear strips and sheer strips. The quilted bandage has air channels that allow the area to breathe. The quilting also helps to absorb blood and fluid, and to keep wounds clean. (http://www.band-aid.com)
Dry, cracked feet
Need help to soothe and moisturize dry, cracked feet? Consider Kerasal NeuroCream, formulated with a triple-action compound designed to stop tingling foot pain, warm cold feet, and moisturize dry skin. This cream has capsaicin 0.075% and camphor 5.65% for warming pain relief and comes as a convenient foam for easy use. According to the manufacturer, it penetrates the skin to deliver relief at the muscular level.
For consumers who need fast results, Kerasal Foot Ointment and Kerasal ultra20 Daytime Foot Cream - which at one time were only available through podiatrists’ offices - can be found at many stores and online.
For hard-to-remove calluses, Kerasal Removal Cleansing Pads offer an abrasive pad for breaking down calluses and a cleanser for disinfection. While pumice stones and files may be unsanitary after several uses, the Kerasal pads are highly effective and disposable.
Kerasal Exfoliating Pumice Paste is a convenient exfoliating agent for use in the shower. The paste helps with exfoliation and moisturization, and is safe for sensitive skin. (www.kerasal.com)
Xenna Corp. offers another solution for dry, cracked feet with its CalleX Enzyme Ointment, which can thin and soften hardened skin and exfoliate hardened heels. The company states that it is formulated to address only dry, cracked, thickened, and scaly skin, and to moisturize with its petrolatum base. (http://www.xenna.com/xenna_products.html)
Burt’s Bees also offers a variety of foot lotions and creams, including the award-winning Peppermint Foot Lotion, Honey & Bilberry Foot Cream, and Coconut Foot Cream. The foot lotion can be used daily to pamper dry, cracked feet. The creams can gently exfoliate and moisturize, so that, according to the company, feet will be “sandal-ready all year long.” (http://www.burtsbees.com)
Gold Bond Ultimate Healing Foot Therapy Cream provides 24 hours of moisturization to help heal dry, cracked feet and heels. The cream contains seven moisturizers and three vitamins (A, C, and E) to penetrate, soften, and deodorize rough and cracked feet. It is available at Walgreens drug stores as well as online at www.drugstore.com.