How can community pharmacists help people prevent and manage dry and cracked feet? Matt Clegg explains…

The foot care category overall is very busy with a variety of brands and products developed for a range of different skin types and conditions.

Pharmacies need to be able to provide advice on how to manage these conditions and to confidently recommend the products that will provide relief from the problem at hand.

The local pharmacy is still the destination for advice on skincare and pharmacists are frequently asked for recommendations and products to solve skincare problems.

Pharmacists should keep it simple and stock products that staff know well and that they are regularly asked for. Rather than stocking shelves with beauty-focused products, pharmacies should stick to problem and solution brands like O’Keeffe’s to give themselves a point of difference.

In recent years we have seen the launch of several, seemingly innovative, mechanical tools, claiming to remove hard skin on the feet.

We find that consumers are now returning to the more traditional route of regularly using an effective foot cream to relieve dry and cracked skin.

Pharmacists should recommend that their patients consider an effective moisturising formula in a foot cream, one that effectively breaks down the top layer of the skin and retains moisture. By using an effective foot cream in the right way, the need for mechanical tools is negated.

Advice for patients on managing dry skin on feet
Exfoliate and moisturise – these are the two key ingredients to managing dry skin on the feet.

First soak the feet. A footbath filled with warm water works just fine and to soothe the feet, Epsom salts can help.

To exfoliate, a pumice stone is still the best implement to have to hand. It effectively removes hard skin from the heels and other areas. Advise patients to apply and press the pumice stone to the problem area and rub back and forth to remove the hard skin, stopping before the skin is irritated. Once feet are smooth, they are ready to be moisturised.

Intensive moisturisers like O’Keeffe’s Healthy Feet only require a small dab (close to the size of a pea). For the first use you should recommend that people always apply the foot cream in the evening before bedtime. For future applications use as needed throughout the day, as well as at bedtime.

With effective, moisturising foot creams, it is not necessary to wear socks over the foot cream at night. This common practice can be detrimental and negate the moisturising effect of the foot cream.

Seasonal fixtures. Are they important?
Ahead of and during summer we see a seasonal spike in footcare awareness. People are looking to ensure that their feet are flip-flop ready and for products and regimes to effectively manage dry skin problems on their feet.

Pharmacists should create and promote a seasonal feature in-store which focuses on advice and tips on how to carry out a healthy foot care regime ahead of and during the summer months.

Products like O’Keeffe’s Healthy Feet are innovative and disruptive in the footcare category. They provide pharmacists with an opportunity, during key seasons, to make additional sales with fixtures that are seasonal, bold, bright, and fresh.

Additional tips for pharmacists to boost sales
Watch TV and follow skin care brands’ social media pages. Brands advertising on TV and who are active on social media will drive consumers into the local pharmacy.

Make sure that you know when brands are advertising and when they are running social media campaigns and that you stock these products in advance.

O’Keeffe’s Healthy Feet foot cream provides a solution to a very common problem; dry and cracked skin on the feet. At O’Keeffe’s we know that people who suffer from dry skin would like a solution to their problem without fragrance, without grease and in many ways without even feeling like they have used a skincare product at all.

O’Keeffe’s Healthy Feet is unscented, non-greasy, and only a small amount is required, for guaranteed relief.

Matt Clegg is associate director-skincare at O’Keeffe’s.