How to Treat Dry Feet….continued.

There were so many brilliant comments on my post the other week about foot files. If you didn’t catch it, (it was the first of my Sh*tfit of the Day series, more to follow) then you can read that here: www.amodelrecommends.com/shitfit-of-the-day

Anyway, one of the comments left on the post was quite a lengthy one, from a lovely reader who is also a qualified podiatrist! Hurrah. Some of the tips in her comment were very useful indeed so I thought that I’d reproduce the comment in its entirety below. Enjoy, feel free to add more comments, advice, whatever… Here goes:

“Ok, first things first, you must make the distinction between THICK skin and DRY skin.

THICK skin is typically found on weight-bearing or high pressure areas, such as the heel, ball of foot, side of big toe/little toe, and tops of toes. It’s thick, a yellow colour and is typically referred to as callous.

Callous is caused by pressure – the skin thickens as a protective mechanism in response to excessive pressure and friction. If it didn’t thicken the skin would break down and be a bloody (literally) mess!!

Please don’t go mad with scrapers or sharp implements when you have thickened skin. Remember that the skin has thickened as a protective mechanism, so if you take it all away you are removing your protection.

The point is that it is better to leave a small layer behind, unless you have the necessary shock absorption to relieve the pressure.

So how do you treat thickened skin? You need to look at PRESSURE relief, think about shock absorbing, you want something to absorb the excessive pressure instead of the skin, for example, gel insoles, heel cups, cushioned soled shoes.

Alternatively you may need a biomechanical assessment with a podiatrist to look at the mechanics of the foot and leg, because in a normally functioning foot you should not be getting high pressure areas!!

If you do have THICK skin I would always recommend getting it removed initially by a podiatrist, THEN to keep on top of it do the following:

1. Moisten the skin with a baby wipe. The point is that the skin should not be bone dry or wet.

2. Using a foot file with a fine grit (the sand paper type ones) NOT METAL!!!!!!! Apply very firm pressure and file vigorously – the skin will just roll off and look like the bits of rubber that you would get if you rubbed out pencil on paper.

3. Apply a moisturiser that contains a minimum of 10% urea. Urea is found naturally in the skin, it is basically a magnet for moisture and increases the water content in the skin. Ureka do a good one. Apply daily.

Remember that thickened skin does not respond to moisturiser alone, this is because it is the result of pressure.

OK, now DRY skin….

DRY skin is skin that is, well..dry! This means that it lacks moisture. Dry skin can appear anywhere on the foot and has more of a white colour as opposed to yellow.

Good news is that Dry skin is really easy to treat!! Just do the following:

1. First you have to remove all the dry skin, because if you rely on moisturiser alone it ain’t ging to work. Why? Because it’s bloody difficult to rehydrate dead skin!

The point is to remove the old skin and maintain and hydrate the new!

I recommend filing the skin with a basic foot file With a fine grit (NOT METAL!!) you can do this dry, but I prefer to do this with a baby wipe to slightly moisten the skin ( also stops dust flying everywhere). It’s important to apply FIRM Pressure. Don’t be afraid to be firm and vigorous! You can do this with a fine grit file. It should not be sore.

2. This is the most important part when dealing with dry skin- you need to apply moisturiser EVERY SINGLE DAY!!! Why? Because skin cell turnover ( this is when the Los skin cells are shed and the new skin cells come through) is ONCE every 30 days.Therefore, if you only apply moisturiser once a week that is the equivalent of 4 times a month. No wonder it ain’t working!!

If you suffer from dry skin apply a moisturiser that contains 10% urea every day. Apply the cream everywhere EXCEPT in between the toes. NEVER apply moisturiser between the toes. If you do apply moisturiser between the toes you are increasing your risk of fungal infection (athletes foot!), think about mushrooms( they’re a fungus) what is their perfect environment in which to thrive?? DARK, WARM and MOIST. Hence between the toes is perfect if you want to grow your own fungus!! So dry them thoroughly and DON’t apply moisturiser there!!

Sorry this is long, but I hope it’s helpful. Follow this advice and you should have lovely smooth feet :-)

Becca Antonio
Podiatrist
BSc (Hons), BA (Hons), HPC, MsCP.”

Thank you so much – that is extremely helpful advice! We shall all have feet like babies come Christmas. GASP! I said the C-Word!

Click here for an affordable Foot Cream with 10% Urea

27 comments

  1. Gehwol lipidro cream is brilliant at keeping feet really hydrated. It was recommended to me by a chiropodist a few years ago and I use it every day religiously. Keeps my feet lovely and soft and supple. It’s a good price too if you buy the big dispenser at http://www.simplyfeet.co.uk.

  2. There’s still a thick layer of dead skin on the heel of one of my feet but it’s got this weird “pattern” or “texture” and theres wart like things appearing on and around it. At first I figured it was a blister but now it’s just there and the edges are getting painful. It’s starting to worry me

  3. Great tips! Here is my tip! I have very dry heels that can crack, so here is My tip….I soak my feet as I am showering with hot water( plug tub) for 15 min. I usually do this at the end of my shower, u need the skin soften first. Then I use a real pumice stone. And apply as much pressure as needed. And scrub away the tough areas on the foot ( heel , side of big toe, etc.) rinse pumice periodically while using it if it feels slippery and also at end of use. Then poo out of shower and I use extra virgin cold pressed organic coconut oil all over my feet. Everytime u shower u must do this whenever feet get wet! Then for touch ups in Btwn I use the file and dry file them! And then moisturizer!! I just tried Burt’s bees coconut foot cream and it smells good . I like it so far. They also sell small trial size bottles of this for a couple dollars at cvs if anyone wants to sample it first.

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