Harvard Health Letter

Special section: Feet: A guided tour down the foot aisle

Special section: Feet

A guided tour down the foot aisle

For some conditions and body parts, the drugstore has little to offer. Not so for the feet. You'll almost always find several shelves of products for the pedal extremities. We asked Dr. James P. Ioli, the guest editor of this special section, to accompany us on a trip to a drugstore near our offices. Here is a list of some of the foot products we saw there, along with Dr. Ioli's comments.

Arch bandage

Might make the arch feel better and more supported, but it isn't going to change the structure or fix serious problems. As the package says, people with diabetes or poor circulation should avoid them because they could reduce blood flow through the foot.

Callus and corn cushions

Simple and effective. The donut shape keeps pressure off calluses (which usually form on the bottom of the feet) and corns (which form on the top, often on toes). Change them often; otherwise the skin underneath will start to break down. New shoes that fit better will often reduce the skin irritation that causes calluses and corns in the first place.

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