When those tootsies need some TLC, help is at hand

May 10, 2016

Plenty of options on the pharmacy shelves to keep those dogs from barking.

Dry, rough skin, blisters, and athlete’s foot are only a few of the many problems that can affect your feet and produce either health issues or just plain discomfort. And as pharmacists who spend all day on their feet know all too well, when your feet aren’t right, it can be difficult to navigate through the day.

To prevent problems for your feet, you might consider limiting their exposure to cold temperatures and water; making sure that you wear comfortable, properly fitting shoes; and decreasing long periods of sitting (again, not a problem for pharmacists).

In addition, improving the circulation of blood to the feet helps. Try raising your feet, standing, stretching, walking, and other exercise. Massage and foot baths can also improve blood circulation.

While proper foot care is important for everyone, it is vital for people with diabetes. Healthcare experts advise diabetes patients to examine their feet daily, checking for cuts, blisters, red spots, or swelling. They also should wash their feet daily in warm - not hot - water and make sure to dry their feet thoroughly between their toes.

It’s also important to keep the skin soft and smooth, to smooth corns and calluses gently, and to trim toenails.

When issues do arise, the pharmacy shelves offer numerous OTC products designed to provide relief for minor foot problems.

See also: Some treats for the feet

Healthy feet

When it comes to keeping feet healthy, half the battle in keeping our feet healthy is making sure they are both clean and dry.

Spongeables Pedi-Scrub 4-in-1 Green Foot Buffer, from Spongeables LLC, promises to clean the feet, and that’s only the beginning. It also exfoliates, massages, and moisturizes feet with glycerin, olive oil, shea butter, lavender, and eucalyptus extract.

The foot buffer is formulated to remove skin gently so it doesn’t have to be cut or filed. According to Spongeables literature, the product deodorizes feet and keeps them fresh while also improving “skin integrity.” The foot buffer is paraben-free and has never been tested on animals. Each buffer will provide at least 20 treatments.

Burt’s Bees Foot Cream Honey & Bilberry , from Burt’s Bees, is formulated to soften and smooth your feet. It uses bilberry extract, a natural alpha hydroxy acid, to help exfoliate dry skin and soften calluses. This product also contains honey, jojoba butter, and rosemary extract to help replenish moisture in the feet. (Product image courtesy of Burt's Bees)

Blue Goo Cracked Heels and Dry Hands Skin Softener, from Garcoa Laboratories, is a multipurpose product designed to help soften calluses, corns, and rough, dry skin. The product is not petroleum-based; instead, the balm combines lanolin, emu oil, soybean oil, and beeswax to help soothe and soften skin, according to product literature. Users do not have to put on socks after applying; the goo will not stain bedsheets. The product also claims that diabetes patients will love it because it will keep the skin of their feet from drying out. (Product image courtesy of Garcoa Laboratories)

Profoot Heel Rescue Superior Moisturizing Foot Cream, from Profoot Inc., provides relief for dry, scaly, and cracked feet. It is nongreasy and contains argan oil formulated to penetrate, moisturize, and repair cracked and callused feet. This product is also recommended for knees, elbows, and rough hands, with visual results promised in as few as three days after first application.

See also: FInd relief for what ails the feet

Derman Antifungal Cream (Compania Internacional de Comercio, S.A. de C.V.), a product of Mexico, promises to relieve the itching and peeling associated with tinea pedis, better known as athlete’s foot, while soothing cracking and burning. After washing and drying the affected area, users should apply a thin layer of the cream twice daily for up to four weeks. The product’s makers also suggest that shoes should be well fitted and well ventilated, and that socks and shoes should be changed at least once daily.

Hongo Killer Antifungal Spray Powder, from Efficient Laboratories Inc., also promises to relieve symptoms of athlete’s foot, including itching, burning, and cracking. According to product literature, it has been shown to cure most cases of ringworm of the foot. Used daily, it can help prevent most tinea fungal infections from recurring. (Product image courtesy of Efficient Laboratories)

Desenex Athlete’s Foot Antifungal Shake Powder, from Novartis Consumer Health, is a prescription-strength formulation of miconazole 2% that is designed to soothe and cure tinea pedis, as well as to help keep feet dry and to fight odors.

Dr. Scholl’s Men’s & Women’s Double Air Pillo insoles, from Bayer Global, are advertised as twice as thick as single-form, store-brand insoles. They fit men’s sizes 7-13 and women’s sizes 5-10. The insoles can be trimmed to fit specific shoe sizes, and the suregrip foam helps prevent wrinkling, bunching, and slipping. (Product image courtesy of Bayer Global)

 

The importance of dry feet

Many people suffer from excessive foot wetness (hyperhidrosis). The foot has the highest concentration of sweat glands in the body -250,000. Unfortunately, excessive foot wetness can also cause foot odor, as bacteria feed on sweat and dead skin cells.

Wearing closed shoes or socks made from synthetic materials can exacerbate this problem. However, there are OTC products designed to help keep the feet dry and in fighting order.

Odor-Eaters Foot Powder, from Odor-Eaters, guarantees long-lasting protection against both odor and wetness. It contains cornstarch and three odor-fighting ingredients to help keep feet drier.

Gold Bond No Mess Foot Powder Spray, from Chattem Inc., is advertised to have twice the odor-absorbing powder of Gold Bond Powder Spray. Product literature states that it cools feet, absorbs moisture, and controls foot odor. It can be used before work or physical activity, or right after showering, to keep feet cool and dry. The product has a 360-degree valve that allows you to spray it in any direction, including upside down. It uses aloe to combat foot odor.