Silk Feet – a New Callus Product

March 25, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Foot Care Products, Health 

I love new products that promote healthy feet. And, as many of you know, I don’t like calluses. So I was happy to get a chance to test a new callus reduction product.

First, I need to say that I am not a fan of pumice stones and most of the callus files I see most commonly advertised as tools to help you reduce your calluses. In my opinion, they tend to tear the skin, leaving it rough and scaly. While they reduce callus, I don’t like the after effects on the skin. I have tried the Pedi-Egg and while a bit better, it still leaves a lot to be desired.

Silk Feet

Silk Feet

There’s always room for improvement. The nice folks at Silk Feet sent me a sample of their product. Here’s a bit of text from their website.

Silk Feet is the first ever Bladeless Exfoliating Microscreen. It’s designed to quickly remove dry, callused skin revealing smooth, healthy skin beneath. The oval shape and flexible design adapt to the contours of the foot for professional results in minutes. 

Silk Feet is a new generation of foot care products designed to provide fast, effective treatment to eliminate dry, dead skin cells from an individual’s foot; producing the most effective smoothing results available in a single application.

The product’s oval shape and flexible design adapt to the contours of your foot and allow the abrasive to maintain continuous contact with your skin for professional results in minutes.

The oval shape is easy to use

The oval shape is easy to use

I found the oval shape to be pliable and easily shaped to my heels and the balls of my feet. I could hold it in the palm of my hand and rub it over the skin with as much pressure as I wanted to apply. It worked very well. In just two short sessions, my wintertime calluses were reduced dramatically. I used it on one heel and not the other so I could compare. While a bit tricky because of its size, it can also be used on toes. The oval is the same coarseness on both sides, so it can be reversed when one side starts to wear down. Wash it under running water after use.

My recommendation is to use it over a wastebasket or the side of your tub as the fine skin dust has to go somewhere – or just use it outside. It’s small enough to pack in a travel bag to take on the road. I’d suggest putting it in a baggie to keep it from snagging on other things.

At a price point of $6, I think Silk Feet is a great buy. Their website lists stores that are supposed to carry it. If you can’t find it at a local store, it’s easy to order it from their website.

Heel Smoother Pro

November 22, 2009 by · 5 Comments
Filed under: Foot Care, Foot Care Products, Health 

five-stars2This past spring I discovered the Heel Smoother Pro made by Artemis Woman. I called the company and talked to one of the owners about the product. They make several versions of the Heel Smoother and after learning about each; I ordered the Heel Smoother Pro and a spare set of their DuraCrystal tips.

Over the past months, my wife and I have used it to control calluses and keep our feet smooth. I also took it to Badwater this past summer and used it on several runners’ feet. The DuraCrystal tips do a fantastic job of reducing hard callus. I have shown the Pro at the clinics and promote it whenever possible. In my opinion, it works better and faster than a file or pumice stone and with the two different shaped tips, works well on any part of the foot, including toes. Is it for everyone? If you have calluses, especially stubborn hard-to remove thick calluses, or dry, cracked skin, then “Yes” – it’s for you. It gets my first five star rating.

Heel Smoother Pro

Heel Smoother Pro

The Heel Smoother Pro ($29.99) is a two-speed battery-operated callus remover and a revolutionary pedicure appliance that smoothes calluses and removes dry skin on heels and toes in seconds, without the use of harsh chemicals or dangerous blades. The Heel Smoother is the only pedicure device that stops when too much pressure is placed on the foot. This built-in safety feature prevents over-exfoliating which can damage the foot. It comes with a free full 1 oz jar of the exclusive Healing Gems’ Topaz Foot Butter, with rich, nourishing shea butter, purifying aromatherapy essential oils, and uplifting Topaz crystals to soften and revitalize feet and revitalize the spirit! Includes:

  • The battery operated Heel Smoother Pro (2AA batteries required, not included)
  • Two Duracrystal Power tips (large rounded tip for heels, small thin tip for toes
  • One jar of Topaz Foot Butter – 1 oz

Glossy Pink, a blog, did a review and said, “While ultimately the same smooth effect can be achieved with traditional foot files, this product saves the user a lot of elbow grease, and has some other tricks up its sleeve as well. Here, I’m referring to this product’s ability to more easily maneuver around the contours of the foot (especially the baby toes). Plus this tool smoothes feet in one step (versus traditional rough callus removers which leaves jagged pieces of skin that must then be filed down). And besides, with a standard tool, you’re just filing, but with this baby, you’re power sanding.”

The DuraCrystal Power Tips are made with the same crystals (aluminum oxide) used in professional microdermabrasion treatments, to safely, quickly and effectively remove dry dead skin from the heels and feet.

Here’s a short video from Tampa Bay Channel 10 where they review the Heel Smoother Pro.

The basic Heel Smoother, unlike the Pro model, is not waterproof and does not come with their Topaz Foot Butter. Its price is $14.99 and it comes with two tips.

The rechargeable Heel Smoother Optimum is available for $39.99 and comes with four tips.

Replacement tips are available. A set of three pairs of DuraCrystal Power Tips (large rounded tip for heels, small thin tip for toes) for a total of six tips is $5.99. Other replacement tips combination are offer on the website.

Artemis Woman’s Topaz Foot Butter is made with finely ground Topaz gemstone crystals, combining the ancient healing art of Gem Therapy with the invigorating aromatherapy blend of bergamot, tea tree, and lemon essential oils. Blended together with rich moisturizing shea butter, Artemis Woman Foot Butter will not only soothe and nourish your hard-working feet. $7.99 for a 1 oz jar.

The Heel Smoother is the only pedicure appliance of its kind to receive the American Podiatric Medical Association Seal of Acceptance. Artemis Woman also makes products for hands, skin and eyes. As far as the name, Artemis Woman, this product is great for anyone, not just women.

The Heel Smoother Pro deserves a place in your foot care bag. It gets five stars as the best callus tool I have seen. Get it for yourself and buy one for a friend for Christmas.

But don’t just take my word for it. Here’s an email from Anthony C. “Woofie” Humpage, one of the volunteers on the Badwater medical team. He posted this to one of the ultra lists.

“When I was at Badwater this year, working on the medical team, I had the opportunity to chat with John Vonhof about foot care issues and specifically, getting rid of calluses.

I have two problems with calluses, one on my heels, where, if I wear sandals without socks, my heels crack. That can be quite troublesome as it is sore. But from a treatment point of view the calluses that form on the tip of my #1 toe – I have Morton’s Foot – are the hardest to deal with from a maintenance point of view. Things are made worse because I also have the habit of clenching my toes during non-running exertion – cycling hard up a hill for example, and I quickly build up thick layers of hard skin on the tips of my toes, under which blisters will form. The tips of these toes are just hard to work effectively with a foot file or emery board. As a consequence I am not as diligent as perhaps I should be in dealing with them. According to John, and I believe him, getting rid of calluses is one of the best things you can do as part of a blister prevention problem.

As I was mumbling my excuses about how hard getting after the toe calluses is, John said: “Let me show you this!”. He pulled out a Heel Smoother Pro. I ordered one as soon as I got home and it is the business! I think of it as a $30 Dremel tool for feet. The Heel Smoother comes with two tips – a larger one that is meant for working bigger areas like heels, and a smaller one that looks like a small Christmas tree. The tips are mildly abrasive and quickly grind away hard skin. The smaller tip is great for toes. It’s as painless a procedure as filing, but much quicker. You can also be more precise with the small tip. So far, I have not had to replace the batteries in mine.

I have seen a lot of ho-hum gizmos and gadgets over the years but this isn’t one of them. It will probably pay for itself fairly quickly if you currently visit the nail salon for pedicures – that’s the men, anyway, as I don’t guess they their toenails painted.”

Anthony C. “Woofie” Humpage, CSCS, USAT Triathlon Certified Coach, Masters Athletic Performance, Scottsdale AZ

Pre-Summer Foot Care – Part 1 Callus

May 9, 2008 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Uncategorized 

Summer is right around the corner and with it comes more time spent outdoors. Activities like running, walking, hiking, adventure racing, backpacking or fastpacking – all stress our feet. Now is the time to start pre-summer foot care. We’ll talk about this in several parts. Part one will talk about calluses.

     Calluses are controversial. A callus is thickened skin caused by recurring pressure and friction—usually a sign of ill-fitting footwear. Many people feel calluses help protect their feet from blistering. Jan_herrmann_right_foot_17_days_aft They can – but they again, they might not. The problem is that when, not if, you blister underneath calluses – these deep blisters are almost impossible to drain and treat. The hard callus rubs against any pressure point in your shoe (side of the heel or forefoot, ball of the foot, bottom of the toes, etc.) and when the rubbing has continued long enough, and/or with enough pressure, the callus begins to move against the deep layers of skin – and you have a blister.

     My suggestion is to work at reducing your calluses with creams and file them as smooth as possible. Some small callus is okay, but I would keep them fairly soft and thin. The thicker and harder they are, and the longer it takes to reduce them.    

     Buy an inexpensive callus file at your local drug store, or a pumice stone, and file the callus after showering or bathing. You also should also purchase a callus cream to apply after using the file.

     A bit of foot care before summer will help your footwear fit better and your feet feel more comfortable.

Calluses and 2nd Opinions

September 9, 2007 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Footcare, Footwear, Health, Sports, Travel 

Over the past weeks, I have shared much of my thinking on calluses. If you read the last post and went over to my Fixing Your Feet newsletter for August, you read about how calluses affected the Badwater race of Jon, a runner from Australia.
     Lest you think that what happened to Jon is an uncommon occurrence, I want to share an email I received from an adventure racer named Matt. He wrote:
     “I completely agree with your position on calluses. Certainly, they represent a natural response the body is making to an irritant but they should be managed. I’ve participated in multi-day adventure races and 24-hour Rogaine events and found my teammates that had calluses as protection from blisters had the worst blisters. I’m fortunate that I read and learned your thoughts on the subject or I’d been right there with a huge blister problem. While I can’t say I’ve not had a blister since I started managing differently, I’ve certainly lessened the potential cause. Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom.”
     The key to what he wrote is: “… my teammates that had calluses as protection from blisters had the worst blisters.”
     I have seen this time and time again. Calluses can offer a bit of protection against blisters, but the tradeoff is when you do blister with calluses, the blisters are bad. Often times they are larger and deeper since they are under the callused skin.
     Thanks Matt, I appreciate your comments. Thanks for the 2nd opinion.

More on Calluses

September 3, 2007 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Footcare, Footwear, Health, Sports, Travel 

Some of you may think I am taking this callus thread too far. What motivates me is the knowledge that I Jan_herrmann_right_foot_25__miles_2have seen many athletes who have suffered because of their calluses. To bring that point home, I’d like to ask a favor.
     If you are not a subscriber to my Fixing Your Feet newsletter, click here to go to the August edition. I managed to squeeze it out on August 30th, with one day left in the month. (Some months are like that, you just run out of time).
     The August newsletter has my short editorial, Are Calluses Really Bad. The feature article is My Best Blister Patch Job Ever. Please take a few minutes and read the two pieces. They go hand in hand. They are about calluses. One is my opinion and the other is a real life story of what happened because of calluses. True, it is an extreme case, but it could happen to others – and I want you to be informed. Here is one of the pictures from the article.
     My goal, as always, is to help you to happy feet.

My Calluses and Callus Care

August 28, 2007 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Footcare, Footwear, Health, Sports, Travel 

For the past five weeks or so I have been working on reducing my calluses. Now, truth be told, I do not have thick calluses like some people I have seen. My running has gone to zip, nada, nothing with my health issues, so my feet don’t get trashed. With luck, in a year, I will be back to running and working my way back to ultras.
     So my usual routine has been to use my callus file every evening, followed with an application of a lotion. Some days, I apply the lotion in the morning and again in the evening. During this time, I have spent quite a bit of time in flip-flops.
     My heels have gone from rough to smooth with this simple exercise. Next time, I will talk more about the lotions I used. Today though, I want to stress the importance of continued care. The last five days I have been busy and have not taken the time to file and apply the lotion. Tonight I checked my heels and noticed they had become rougher with the obvious edge of a small callus starting to form. Much of these five days I have been barefoot and in flip-flops.
     So, out came the file and lotion. In 60 seconds I had filed the rough spots and in another 60 seconds had applied the lotion. Two minutes is all it takes.
     If you want the skin on your feet to be soft and supple, that’s about what it takes. Two minutes in the morning or evening.

Callous Files – Should You Buy One?

August 14, 2007 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Footcare, Footwear, Health, Sports, Travel 

How many callous files do you own? One? None? I have three.
     Why, you might ask, should I have a callus file? Good question and, thanks for asking.
     In the last two major events where I have helped patch feet, calluses been a large contributor in foot problems for athletes whose feet I have patched. For these athletes, their calluses, particularly on their heels, led to bad blisters. Even though the heels are a common area of blistering, feet with heel calluses tend to blister faster, and have larger blisters.
     So, that’s where a callous file comes in. Regular callous filing, when used in conjunction with a callous reducing cream or ointment, is important to healthy feet. I have one inexpensive, $4.00 callous file I purchased at a local drug store. It is flat on both sides, with one coarser than the other, and is fairly flexible. It works well.
    My second file is single sided, stiff, and the file part is curved. This curve is helpful to follow the curve of a heel. I’d guess I paid about $7.00 from an online store.
41300l    My third file is interesting. It resembles a small cheese grater with a handle. The grate part is 1 inch wide by 2.5 inches in length. One side is fine, with the other side is coarse. I bought it from Medco Sports Medicine for less than $5.00. I like this file.
     If you have lightly calloused feet, a simple file works well.  However if you have thick calluses, I’d suggest a stronger file – one like the cheese grater design in the picture. This file will work faster on the thick dead callus.
     After filing, apply a liberal coating of a callous remover cream or ointment. We’ll be talking more about these in the weeks ahead.


August 4, 2007 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Footcare, Footwear, Health, Sports, Travel 

In June I patched feet of adventure racers at the Raid the North Extreme in northern BC Canada. In July I patched feet of ultrarunners at the Badwater Ultramarathon in Death Valley, CA.  One common denominator on many athletes’ feet was their calluses.
     Those of you who have followed me for a while know I am not a fan of calluses. Over the years I have Img_2611patched too many blisters underneath calluses, and been unable to patch many more. The reason is that calluses are hardened layers of skin, caused by friction, often from poorly fitting footwear. Calluses also are quite common in the summer when people use sandals, flip-flops, or go barefoot.
     These calluses can crack, and these skin cracks, called fissures, have to heal from the inside out – and can be painful. The skin inside can easily become infected.
     Over the next month, I will be trying several callus creams, callus remover, and other skin repair ointments. I am enlisting the help of several friends, including my wife, to also try some of the products.
     One-by-one, I will talk about these products and share how they worked. I will also share a few stories, including one horror story of calluses, how they affect athletes in their sports, and a bit on how I patch them. Stay tuned.

Pre-Summer Foot Skin Care

April 23, 2007 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Footcare, Footwear, Health, Sports, Travel 

The weather is changing and with summer not far off, a word to the wise about foot care is in order. Lots of people like going barefoot around the house once warm weather starts. Bare feet can be refreshing and invigorating. Wiggling and curling your toes without socks, and stretching your feet, feels good.
     One important tip to get your feet in shape for summer is to care for the skin on your feet. Stop at your local drug store and select one of the moisturizing creams to start using at least every other day. Feet_fileThere are many to choose from and rather than list a few, it is better for you to look over your local selection. Read the tube or canisters to learn what they have in common. Pick one and use it regularly.
     Pay special attention to your heels and the balls of your feet. These two places are where the skin usually starts to harden and build calluses. If you have stubborn calluses, and have tried to soften them without success, try this trick. Apply the moisturizer in the evening before bed, than wrap a strip of plastic wrap around your heels, or feet, whichever area you want to soften. Leave it on overnight. In the morning, use a callus file or pumice stone to remove the loose skin. Then apply another light coating of moisturizer.
     Hardened or callused skin tends to get harder and more callused through the summer. Take a few minutes and get your feet in shape for the coming summer. Do what it takes to keep your feet happy.

Watch and Wash Your Heels

July 5, 2006 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Footcare, Footwear, Health, Sports, Travel 

This past weekend was great. Four days off in a row. As usual, I spent quite a bit of time gardening. My Teva sandals are fairly old but still sturdy and most importantly, comfortable.
     I start most Saturday’s by using a callus file to remove the hard spots and callus buildup. Then I rub a good callus reducing cream all over my heels. This helps keep the skin soft while wearing sandals. I usually use Zim’s Crack Creme, Weleda’s Skin Food, or Total Foot Recovery Cream from Podiatrist’s Secret. I don’t skimp on the amount.
Images_12     By the end of the day, the skin on my heels is dirty and has started to harden. Going in the pool helps but it is important to wash my feet at the end of the day. I am amazed at the amount of dirt finding it’s way into the pores and small minor cracks of my skin. Then I apply another light coat of the cream. This is repeated on Sunday.
     This regiment has helped keep the calluses on my heels under control. I like wearing sandals but I know wearing them day after day, without proper skin care, will lead to calluses and hardened skin—and later cracks in the top layers of skin. I also use the cream several times on weekdays. There’s no sense in letting my skin go during the week even if I am not wearing sandals all day.
     Take a few minutes and stop by your friendly neighborhood drug store and pick up a container of callus reducer cream. Use it and you’ll help your feet be happy.

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