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Don’t Forget the Feet… The Importance of Skincare for Feet

Summer is coming! This is the time of year when our skin is likely to be at its driest and is on display for all to

see! Skincare is important and easily addressed. Here are tips on keeping the skin on your feet in top condition.

Skin is the largest organ of the human body, it covers the entire body, holding everything together, and provides a protective layer from the external environment. It protects us from all sorts of microbes and infections. But it can only do this if its integrity is intact, meaning there are no breaks, cuts, scratches or cracks etc. For most parts of the body, minor breaches of this integrity carry a low risk. Rarely do we get an infection from a cut finger (if looked after properly!)

Feet are different! When there are cracks in the soles of our feet, combined with the mechanical pressure of walking, microbes can be driven into our skin from any surface we walk on, resulting in viral, bacterial and fungal infections. Some of these can be difficult to eradicate.

Dryness is the biggest cause of a breach in our skin’s integrity! When skin is dry it doesn’t have the protective oily layer which provides a barrier against microbial entry to our skin. Dryness of our skin also leads to a loss of stretch and flexibility necessary around moving structures, especially on our feet. If our skin can’t stretch or flex it may crack when under mechanical pressure such as walking. These cracks are often around the heels. They are generally small and unnoticed until it is too late.

Dry skin is less of an issue when we are younger, but as we age, all of us will experience drier skin and our ability to fight infections will reduce. With a little care and attention to the skincare of your feet you can reduce the risk of infection, reduce pain from cracks / fissures and improve the comfort and appearance of your feet.

1) Don’t wash your feet with soaps or shower gels on a regular basis. Soaps and shower gels act as detergents and will remove the protective oily layer on your skin. All that is needed is a rub down with a flannel at the end of your bath or shower. Don’t worry they won’t smell! If you have filthy feet from being barefoot, then the occasional use of soap or shower gel won’t hurt.

2) Wear socks or hosiery when possible. Bare skin does tend to dry out faster especially on feet.

3) Use a “foot specific moisturizer” and use it daily. The skin on your feet will be the driest on your body so you need a moisturizer capable of dealing with this. A body skin or face moisturizer won’t do! We feel that 10% urea based creams as standard or 20% urea based creams for particularly dry skin with cracked heels is the best for feet. Typically, a small pea sized amount will spread all over one foot top and bottom. (Don’t do between your toes – if it gets too moist there you can

Have issues with your feet? Immediate appointments are available in all our locations; Sugarloaf, Mechanicsburg, Leola, Camp Hill, Bethlehem and Gilbert… Call now or click to schedule online!

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