These are the creams, sprays, and files foot doctors use to keep their feet in top shape.
How Podiatrists Care for Their Feet
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Ever since Baby Foot's sudden rise to fame, it's hard to keep up with all the new foot-care products popping up, all promising soft, smooth feet. But if anyone can separate the superior products from the B.S., it's podiatrists. To find the best foot-care product recommendations, we asked doctors about the stuff they like using on themselves. Here's what foot pros use to avoid calluses, stinky feet, ingrown toenails, and other annoyances.
Photo: Pablo Rogat`s Photostream/Getty Images
Earth Therapeutics Tea Tree Oil Foot Spray
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This refreshing mist is a favorite of Emily Splichal, DPM, who likes using it to deodorize and manage sweat and oil. In addition to anti-bacterial tea tree oil, it contains peppermint oil and wild mint, which deliver a cooling sensation, so it'll relieve your feet after a long day of walking.
Arm & Hammer Invisible Spray Foot Powder
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Baking soda is a classic ingredient in foot-stink remedies, so naturally, Arm & Hammer has a line of foot-care products. "I like to use Arm and Hammer's foot powder spray before working out," says Dr. Splichal. "It sprays clear and is sweat-activated."
CeraVe SA Lotion for Rough & Bumpy Skin
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To avoid calluses, Dr. Splichal applies this lotion every night after showering. About once a week, she'll apply it before wrapping her feet in plastic wrap and putting on socks, creating an occlusive barrier so that the lotion really soaks in. The lotion contains exfoliating ingredients like lactic acid and salicylic acid in addition to ceramides which help skin retain moisture.
Lord Jones High CBD Formula Body Lotion
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When she's experiencing any foot pain or fatigue, Dr. Splichal treats her feet to this lotion from luxury CBD brand Lord Jones. In addition to CBD, which research links to pain-relieving benefits, it contains menthyl ethylamido oxalate, a cooling agent.
Photo: Lord Jones
Straight Edge Toenail Clipper
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It turns out, not all nail clippers are created equal; a straight-edge nail clipper is the best choice for your toes, according to Miguel Cunha, DPM, founder of Gotham Footcare. "A straight-edge toenail clipper ensures the nails are cut straight across, decreasing the chance of ingrown toenails," he says.
Bare Urea Percent Cream for Hands, Feet, Elbows and Knees
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Dr. Cunha also uses the plastic wrap and sock trick, but with this moisturizing gel. Urea has been shown to have keratolytic effects (read: the ability to break down keratin, and by extension remove lesions such as calluses) at concentrations higher than 10 percent. This gel boasts a 40 percent concentration.
Amope Pedi Perfect Electronic Foot File
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Sure, it screams "white elephant gift," but Dr. Cunha lives for this battery-operated callus remover. "I use this foot file each morning in the shower to remove any thickened callused areas on my foot that have been broken down and softened by the urea cream overnight," he explains.
Apple Cider Vinegar and Epsom Salt
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Dr. Cunha also combats calluses by soaking his feet in apple cider vinegar with three tablespoons of Epsom salt for 20 minutes. Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid, which "helps break down thick and painful calluses and unplug blocked pores that commonly occur on the bottom of feet," and AHAs which balance skin's pH levels, he says. "Both have anti-fungal, antiseptic, and antimicrobial properties which help fight athlete's foot, fungal nails, and food odor-causing bacteria," he adds. (Psst. You can also use your ACV to make a homemade toner.)
Dr. Brenner's Rx Exfoliating Foot Scrub
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This exfoliating scrub comes right from podiatrist Hillary Brenner's own foot-care product line. "Pumice can collect bacteria when stored in a moist environment like a shower," she says. Since it comes in an airtight container, her scrub, which is mainly crushed pumice, solves that problem.
Photo: Dr. Brenner's Rx