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The foot is put under enormous pressure everyday, carrying body weight, absorbing impact, so has to be durable and resistant to many external influences. It is because of these reasons that the skin on the feet is thicker that anywhere else on the body.

Hard skin is a very common on feet and is present in almost all adults. It doesn';t often cause pain, just slight discomfort, but can appear unsightly during the summer months when our feet are exposed, and can promote the development of other conditions.

If hard skin is left untreated and worsens, it can lead to the development of calluses which can be painful, more difficult to treat and can recur over time. Heels can become cracked and painful, and can sometimes even bleed if they are left without treatment.

Hard skin can be prevented by allowing feet to rest and relax by submerging them in warm water regularly. Normally, this can be achieved as part of everyone';s bathing routine. Sometimes the use of products designed especially for hard skin can be used to help soften the skin for ease of removal later.

Using a pumice stone on the heels, ball and sides of the foot and toes will help to remove any dead skin cells before it develops further into unsightly dry and hard skin. Drying the feet properly, followed by application of intensive moisturising creams and lotions will help to keep skin soft and prevent hard skin from occurring.

Those who continually walk in bare feet, especially outside are also more at risk of developing the condition. Feet should be allowed to breathe regularly, but can also benefit from the use of slippers or soft cotton socks.

If you have diabetes, you are at higher risk for developing foot problems due to a condition called peripheral neuropathy which affects the sensory nerves in the legs. Therefore all diabetics should get regular foot exams by their health care provider and should learn to prevent injury by adopting a DAILY routine of checking and caring for your feet.

Your local MediCare Pharmacist will be happy to offer you the advice you require.

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