Five common foot skin problems and how to solve them – Tips for regular care and addressing typical concerns.

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At Hansaplast we are committed to developing highly effective products that can help our consumers. We recently conducted a study with 3,000 participants in three different countries* to discover what the five most frequent foot skin problems are. These are the results:
Dr Maike Kuhlmann Research & Development, Beiersdorf AG
  1. Hardened calloused skin (27%)
  2. Dry skin (25%)
  3. Sweaty feet (20%)
  4. Blisters (15%)
  5. Corns (15%)

Our foot care expert Dr Maike Kuhlmann explains the causes behind these common problems and gives us practical tips on how to keep feet healthy.

Dry skin on feet

A large number of people suffer from dry skin because the skin has lost ist natural moisture
Urea enhances the water-binding capacity of the skin and strengthens ist protective function

“Dry skin may not be the most frequently mentioned problem when it comes to feet, but it’s where the most common foot problems start or originate from,” says Dr Kuhlmann. She explains, “The skin needs a certain amount of moisture to remain supple and to withstand pressure and other external influences. That is why many foot problems such as callus, cracked heels, and corns arise – when skin loses its natural moisture and natural barrier function.”

This is a straight-forward problem to address.

Using a foot cream rich in urea increases the skin’s hydration by attracting and binding water.

Hansaplast Regenerating Foot Cream, for example, smoothes feet instantly. Its high-performance moisturizing formula with 10% urea rehydrates the skin, enhances its water-binding capacity and strengthens its protective function. The skin is soft and supple again. For best results, the foot cream should be applied twice a day. It’s recommended to avoid overly hot showers or baths, as this can dry out the skin. 

To learn more specifically about cracked heels or cracked skin elsewhere on the feet, you might be interested in this article.

Hardened, calloused skin

If left untreated, dry skin can become a medical problem
Intensive treatment such as peeling products and rich foot creams reduce calloused skin

“A foot callus is basically an area of very dry, hard and thickened skin. It can form whenever the skin is exposed to pressure and friction over long periods of time. The areas where this tends to happen are the soles and heels of the feet - the parts of the feet we stand on.” Dr Kuhlmann points out, “If pressure and friction are maintained, elasticity decreases and fissures and skin cracks can occur. This is not only painful and unsightly, it can turn into a medical problem as well.”

The best way to get rid of a foot callus is with intense treatment.

For effective callus treatment, consider a foot-peeling product such as the Hansaplast Anti Callus 2in1 Peeling, which allows for gentle skin removal. Following the peeling, an intensive-formula foot cream such as the Hansaplast Anti Callus 20% UREA Intensive Cream should be applied. To prevent new callus formation, a good care routine is absolutely indispensable. If your problem is dry, cracked heels, you may find this article useful.

Sweaty feet

Maike Kuhlmann: “Feet sweat. Even healthy feet. This is normal. Our feet and hands have more sweat glands than any other part of the body. The sweat in itself is odourless, but when our feet are enclosed in socks and shoes, microorganisms are able to thrive due to the heat and moist– and their metabolic products can cause an unpleasant odour. When sweating is excessive, this condition is called hyperhidrosis.”
Whether your feet sweat the normal amount or more than average, good hygiene is key to keeping the feet healthy
One possible way to keep feet odor free and feeling fresh is with a freshly scented foot spray

Good hygiene is the key to managing sweaty feet. A footbath with lukewarm water and soap is much better than a quick wash in the shower. Anyone who tends to sweat a lot should consider a footbath with herbs, such as sage.

A freshly scented foot spray can also help especially under hot and humid weather conditions.

There is more than one cure for sweaty feet. Depending on your personal needs, you can choose between different products. To prevent Athlete’s Foot and give your feet an extra fresh sensation all day long, a deodorant with Ocetenidine such as the Hansaplast Athlete’s Foot Protection 2 in 1 is the best choice. To prevent the feet from sweating in the first place, we recommend an antiperspirant such as Hansaplast Silver Active. It provides prolonged, safe protection against foot odour and sweat thanks to its active antibacterial complex with silver ions and aluminium salts.


Fluid fills the outer layer of the skin to create a cushion which is fragile to more pressure
The Hydrocolloid Technology immediately relieves pain and speeds up healing time
Why do we get blisters? They’re our body’s clever way of protecting itself from pressure and friction. The outer layer of skin, the epidermis, separates from the layers beneath and fluid fills the space. This is an attempt to cushion the wound beneath from further pressure or friction and lock out causes of infection. Unfortunately, blisters are painful and they easily burst under more pressure. And as we know, a popped blister is extremely painful if not treated!

The new range of blister plasters from Hansaplast immediately relieves pain, and speeds up healing time, thanks to the Hydrocolloid Technology. This works on the principle of moist healing. Superabsorbers absorb blister fluid and allow a cushioning layer of gel to form over the wound, creating the ideal conditions for healing. This ‘cushion’ also prevents any further pressure or friction causing more pain - or damage.

Dr Kuhlmann says, “These plasters help to prevent additional pressure from shoes and protect the blister’s delicate protective layer until it is ready to drain by itself. The plaster protects deroofed blisters from infection and external influences such as water, dirt, and bacteria and accelerates the healing process. In order to prevent blisters, ill-fitting or uncomfortable shoes should be avoided. It is a good idea to protect blister-prone areas from further friction by using Hansaplast Pressure Stop.”

This range of Hansaplast superior foot blister treatments has been created so that you’ll find the ideal plaster – regardless of the size or position of the blister on your foot.
Hansaplast Blister Plaster Small boxes
Hansaplast Blister Plaster Small makes it straightforward to treat small blisters on your foot - particularly blisters on the sides of your toes which can be hard to reach! This pack of six includes a reusable little blue box in a variety of designs.
Hansaplast Blister Plaster Large is a great plaster ideal for painful blisters on heels, or anywhere on the foot. This pack of five includes a neat blue refillable box that comes in a choice of 5 different designs. Choose your favorite one!
Hansaplast Blister Plaster XL helps you when an extra large blister strikes. This XL blister plaster eases pain immediately and ensures that healing can begin. You’ll find five in the pack.
Hansaplast SOS Mix Pack contains a range of plasters from small up to XL, and includes our cut-to-size Hansaplast Pressure Stop Plaster. With this pack, nothing will stop you enjoying the day!
Hansaplast Blister Plaster REFILL allows you to fill your favourite little blue Hansaplast box and do your bit for the sustainability of the environment.

Foot Corns

Exposing skin to continued pressure and ongoing friction can turn calloused areas into corns
Special plasters work to treat corns and prevent their further development
Foot corns are another example of how the feet’s skin tries to protect itself from external influences. Dr Kuhlmann explains, “If the skin is exposed to permanent pressure and ongoing friction, it reacts by building up its outer layer, which will turn into callused skin. If the pressure persists, especially in a specific spot, the callused skin can form a corn on the foot with a hard core that reaches the deeper, more sensitive skin structures and thus causes pain.” This core is often called the “root” of the corn. The symptoms include pain and swelling around the corn and discomfort when walking. Foot corns mostly occur on the top of the toes and on the outside of the fifth toe, as those are the areas where there is the most pressure from shoes. But corns can also occur on the soles of the feet and in between the toes as so-called ‘soft corns’.

Corn removal is straightforward. Corns can be treated with special corn plasters such as the

Hansaplast Corn Plaster. Their soft, felt ring cushions the affected area, while the salicylic acid contained in it softens the corn for better removal. An extra-long strip prevents the plaster from slipping.

Medical advice

If you have questions, need advice or experience noticeable changes in the moisture level of your feet or other irregularities, you should speak to a trusted healthcare professional. Prevention is key – and regular care is important for prevention. Irregularities in foot moisture or other foot skin problems could be signs of diabetes or other conditions. If you would like to know why it is important for diabetics to take care of their feet, read our article “Why is foot care important for diabetics?”

*Omnibus study in Germany, Italy, Mexico with 1,000 participants per country. July 2013.

For further information regarding Hansaplast products, please contact us via email on Please note that none of the above given tips or recommendations substitute medical advice. Carefully read the instructions for use given in our products‘ packages. Consult a health professional if our tips won‘t help or in case you have or suspect a medical condition.

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