Why should you put cream on your feet? Besides keeping them looking nice and reducing the build up of corns and calluses, it helps maintain good skin integrity. Your skin is a fantastic barrier against infection and it’s a vital part of your immune system. It keeps your insides in and the outside world out. It’s worth looking after.
I’ve just uploaded a video where I talk about the foot creams I commonly recommend at Penn Farm Podiatry. However, since it’s over 8 minutes long (gosh, and I was trying to be brief!) a written version should be helpful.
Urea is the active ingredient in most of these. It’s a nitrogen based chemical, hence the “ura” bit. I know what you’re thinking (because I get asked this a lot) but no - it is nothing to do with wee, other than both substances containing a lot of nitrogen. If you are going to invest in a stronger foot cream, then UREA is the ingredient you’re after.
A few points first, though:
Everyone should put cream on their feet every day. Every. Single. Day. Yes, really.
People with diabetes who use cream on their feet every day have fewer complications.
Some people can be allergic or sensitive to the ingredients in these creams. Check the ingredients list and ask me for advice and stop using them if you have any problems.
Some of these products are flammable. This means a build up of foot cream on fabrics, such as your bed linen, can cause fires to take off more readily. Change your sheets regularly if you put the cream on your feet before bedtime.
In non-covid times I’m happy to swap a near-full tube of cream if I’ve recommended it in clinic and it doesn’t work for you.
Are your feet only slightly dry?
An every day body cream such as Nivea might be plenty. If your skin isn’t very dry, start of with something you already have and use.
Companies such as L’Occitane, Neale’s Yard and Clinique produce foot creams. Generally, as they don’t contain urea, they won’t be any stronger than nivea. That’s not a problem if you like the cream and you don’t need a more powerful one.
E45 contains a small amount of urea
Gehwol Herbal Lotion spray contains only a small amount of urea. However, it feels refreshing and many people like using this in summer.
In the middle:
I use Gehwol Fusskraft “green” and “red” in clinic. They smell lovely and feel like a treat. Gehwol foot creams - I use the fusskraft “green” and “red” in clinic a lot. These smell nice, feel
Flexitol Skin Balm. As well as urea, this contains silicone which gives a protective layer. I particularly recommend to my patients with frail skin on their lower legs.
CCS Foot Care Cream you will find in all podiatry clinics. It goes in nicely, doesn’t feel greasy and just works very well. In my experience, I find it is quite helpful with psoriasis.
Flexitol Moisturising foot cream: containing lanolin, it is a bit greasier but patients find it feels more nourishing.
Drier than the sahara?
Flexitol Heel Balm - with 25% urea, this has been the go-to foot cream for dry skin for years.
Flexitol Platinum - A new 40% version. While I don’t recommend it for long term use, this super strength version can boost the moisture in your skin.
CCS Cracked Heel Repair - a new kid on the block, this more powerful version (25% urea) of the much loved CCS seems pretty good.
Gehwohl nail oil. A drop on each side of the nail can really help if the edges of your nails cause calluses or corns. I started using this about six months ago and really like it.
Flexitol Hand Balm: I wash my hands all day long at work, and this stuff is awesome. Cannot recommend it enough.
Which are my favourites? Well, on my feet I use CCS foot care cream, gehwol herbal lotion spray and the gehwol nail oil. But my all time favourite is flexitol hand balm!
Where do you buy them? Most of these creams are available via www.simplyfeet.co.uk. Get a 10% discount with the code XQ9P0478. I can also post them to you - email or phone me, you can pay via BACS and I will send them out.