Diabetic foot care cream: common ingredients
In the battle against diabetes complications, foot care is one of the most important aspects. Taking good care of your feet often involves using an appropriate lotion or foot cream. From keeping your feet moisturized to helping you deal with peripheral neuropathy, diabetic foot care cream can help with a number of issues.
What's in diabetic foot care cream?
With over 14 years of diabetes experience under my belt, I have tried out my share of creams and lotions for the feet. A quick perusal of my medicine cabinet turned up several items with a wide variety of ingredients. I made a list of the most common ingredients, gleaned information on some from the packaging and turned to the power of the Internet to look up the others.
Here are a few of the most popular ingredients in those foot creams, along with what they do and why you might use them:
- L-Arginine HCL. This ingredient comes from a naturally occurring amino acid. It warms the feet, so it can be a good idea for those who have trouble with feet that stay uncomfortably cold.
- Capsaicin. This natural active component of chili peppers provides slow, gentle warming upon application. This can help ease the aches and pains of the feet.
- Aloe. This natural cooling pain relief can also help heal wounds on the feet.
- Urea. This product is commonly used in lotions for the re-hydrating effect it can have on the skin. This is especially effective for areas that are extremely dry.
- Ammonium lactate. This ingredient calms itchy skin and leaves behind a moisturized, cool feeling.
- Lidocaine. This topical pain reliever can be mixed with other ingredients to provide a cooling sensation and relief of minor aches and pains.
- TriOxygenC. Some products include this patented formula, which helps increase oxygen flow to the skin.
- Retin-A. This ingredient can greatly aid the healing of foot ulcers.
- Vitamin E. This can rejuvenate your feet by encouraging the growth of new skin cells.
- Tea tree oil, eucalyptus, menthol, etc. These natural ingredients can provide a cooling sensation while helping prevent fungal infections and alleviating itchiness.
What if you don't suffer from diabetic neuropathy and just want to keep your feet moisturized? Any over-the-counter lotion or cream should work. Use it every day, especially at night before bed, so your skin has more time to absorb the lotion. Keeping your feet supple and soft can help prevent ulcers and other wounds from forming during day-to-day activity.
As with any other diabetes products, before using, always consult your physician, who might have a reason that you should not use a particular cream, or might recommend something in prescription strength. Have your feet checked at every doctor's visit to help ensure that small problems are spotted before they can turn into big complications.