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Diabetes foot care guidelines

10 Best Diabetic Foot Creams and Neuropathy Topical Pain Relievers

If you live with diabetes like I do, preventive diabetic foot care is essential. Diabetes-related foot problems can lead to severe complications when they’re not attended properly. Just like wearing adapted footwear, using good quality diabetic foot creams can keep you away from a lot of troubles. 

Let’s be realistic though: diabetic foot creams do not exist! It’s nothing more than a marketing name. Like one cream could cure all diabetes-related foot problems at once? Rather, the best foot cream depends on what foot problem you have. It does not take a genius to understand that you don’t need the same foot cream if you suffer from diabetic neuropathy foot pain, very dry skin, calluses, blisters, fungal infections, cracked heels, itchy skin, or foot ulcers

I’ve scrutinised dozens of “diabetic” foot creams and “neuropathy” foot cream. I’ve interviewed podiatrists and dermatologists as well as diabetic patients. And I’ve categorized their favourite diabetes and neuropathy foot creams!

Diabetic feet are very fragile. Seek your doctor’s advice before applying anything on your feet!

Best Foot Creams for Diabetic Neuropathy Nerve Pain​

You’re experimenting symptoms such as shooting pain, cramps, burning, prickling, tingling, reduced ability to feel pain or temperature changes, increased sensitivity to touch, or numbness in your feet? You might suffer from peripheral neuropathy. This is a serious yet common, diabetes complication. You should first seek advice and proper diagnosis from your medical team. You might need medical treatment. 

Over-the-counter neuropathy foot creams can help relieve nerve foot pain. Here are 3 of the most efficient ones you can get:

1. Pure sciences Neuropathy Nerve Pain Relief Cream Maximum Strength

Pure Sciences’ Neuropathy Nerve Pain Relief is an arnica and aloe-vera based cream that has proven its efficiency for years now. It has been specially developed for muscle, joint, and nerve pain, and costumers have reported its high efficiency against diabetic neuropathy nerve pain. I especially like is minimal and natural composition, with only 4 ingredients (Deionized Water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Arnica Montana Flower Extract, Carbomer), and no artificial fragrance.

Plus, it’s made in USA and cruelty free! It’s a highly concentrated formula, so you only need to apply a tiny bit. It’s quite expensive but one jar goes a long way!

2. Vibrant Blue Oils' Nerve Repair Essential Oils Blend

This is a rubbing oil, not a cream. Customers have reported incredibly fast-acting and long-lasting pain relief effects on neuropathic foot pain. It’s an all-natural essential oil blend specially formulated to target neuropathic pain and to boost nerve regeneration. 

Vibrant Blue Oils’ Nerve Repair blend combines four essential oils (Basil, Helichrysum Italicum, Peppermint, and Sweet Marjoram) known to help repair damaged nerved, relieve nerve pain, ease inflammation, stimulate blood flow, reduce swelling, and help regenerate new cells. The perfect combo for diabetic neuropathy!

It’s a small format easy to carry everywhere with you. Apply only 2-3 drops and gently massage your feet, several times a day if needed. 

 

3. Natural Hemp Foot Cream with Arnica and Menthol - Great for Neuropathy Pain

This strong relief cream is from WellGrade Est. 2017 company. It’s made in USA and has a clean composition, free of mineral oils, paragons, GMOs, and chemicals. There’s a great number of proven pain relief active ingredients: Hemp oil, Arnica Montana, Menthol, Aloe Vera, and Emu Oil. 

It’s fast-acting and fast-absorbing so it penetrates deep into your skin tissue and immediately soothes the pain and discomfort. Costumers commonly report it works great on neuropathy foot pain. 

WellGrade Hemp Cream comes in a 4fl ox jar. It’s a highly concentrated formula and you need to apply only a tiny bit so the jar goes a very long way. 

4. Frankincense & Myrrh Neuropathy Rubbing Oil for Pain Relief

If you prefer rubbing your feet in oil rather than applying foot cream, here’s your new best friend! This rubbing oil has been specially developed to relieve pain from neuropathy and nerve damage caused by diabetes and other peripheral nerve conditions. An all natural composition from homeopathic ingredients and essential oils that relieves symptoms such as shooting pain, burning, prickling, and numbness in your feet. Costumers report its strong and long-lasting effects on diabetic nerve pain! You can use up to 4 times a day by gently massaging your feet.

Best Diabetic Foot Creams for Common Foot Problems

As I said before, “Diabetic” foot creams actually do not exist! There is no such thing as a diabetic cream that will cure all diabetes-related foot problems. Putting the word “diabetic” on a foot cream is simply an efficient marketing strategy to sell more and at a higher price. 

That being said, foot creams that are labelled “for diabetics” usually share common features that are indeed “diabetes-friendly”. Before buying a foot cream when you have diabetes, you want to make sure it won’t do you more harm than good. That’s actually what diabetic foot creams are about. First and of course, they’re all good moisturisers without doubt. Second, a good diabetic foot cream should not be irritating (that means no allergens, no fragrances, no artificial colouring, etc). Third, it should not be too greasy (the contrary could lead to fungal growth….). Fourth, your new diabetic foot cream should be soothing and help alleviate common small skin irritations, itchiness and other unpleasantnesses. And last but not least, a real diabetic foot cream should help promote peripheral blood circulation. That’s a lot…

Here are 3 of the best diabetic foot creams you can get in 2021. All three of them have the above-mentioned necessary effects. For excessive dryness and cracked skin, I’d recommend using one of the most moisturising foot cream in the next section

1. CeraVe Hand & Foot Cream for Diabetics' Dry & Cracked Skin

CeraVe brand is from the L’Oréal Group and is now the #1 skincare company recommended by dermatologists in USA. Fortunately for us, CeraVe has developed an excellent hand and foot cream for diabetics’ dry and cracked skin. Packed with anti-oxidants, Urea, and essential ceramides, this moisturising cream is great for dry, very dry, and cracked skins. It’s non greasy, fast absorbing, and soothing. It’s fragrance-free, paraben-free, and non-irritating. 

2. Gold Bond Ultimate Diabetic Skin Relief Foot Cream

Gold Bond’s Ultimate Diabetic Skin Relief Foot Cream is a best seller. It kept coming up when I interviewed diabetic patients about their favourite’s diabetic foot creams, and it’s the most sold product in that category on Amazon. Plus, it’s highly recommended by professionals. Its intensive formula provides long-lasting hydrating effects and is fast-absorbing. I love the fact that it contains aloe vera extract for a great soothing effect against irritations and discomfort. 

Gold Bond proudly advertises that their study shows. that “9 out of 10 people with diabetes saw skin improvement within an hour” after using its diabetic foot cream”. Definitely worth the try! One more point: it’s cheap. 

3. Neoteric Diabetic Advanced Healing Cream - Improves Circulation

I did not know the Neoteric brand before investigating the diabetic foot cream topic, and it came as an unexpected good surprise recommended by a diabetic nurse I’ve interviewed. She said she only swears by this product and all of her patients with diabetes absolutely loved it. So here it is!

It’s a new patented formula that speeds healing of feet scraps, itches, bruises, promotes blood circulation, and restore dry and cracked skins. If you tend to have small injuries that take too long to heal, that might be what you need!

Best Foot Creams for Diabetics' Dry, Cracked Skins, and Calluses

High blood sugar levels often cause dehydration which our skin suffers from. When living with diabetes, the skin of our feet can get very dry. This is not a “medical condition” but if not taken care of, it can lead to more serious foot problems. Dry skin can peel or crack and get infected, causing further complications such as foot ulcers. A good feet moisturiser plays a major role in diabetic foot care. 

Dry skin can also be caused by cold. Due to poor blood circulation, people with diabetes tend to have colder feet than others. To keep your feet warm, consider using wool socks for diabetics. Here are 3 of the best foot moisturisers for diabetics.

1. PurSources Urea 40% Foot Cream - Rehydrates Thick, Cracked, Rough, Dead & Dry Skin

Made with premium quality ingredients, PurSources Urea 40% Foot Cream is without any doubt the best foot moisturizer you can get if you have very dry and cracked skin. Also known as carbamide, Urea is a strong humectant that dissolves the intercellular matrix of the cells promoting desquamation and softening of the skin. This cream contains 40% urea and it’s efficiency is remarkably high. It deeply re-hydrates, nourishes, softens the skin, and helps get rid of possible painful calluses.

Plus, this cream contains Chamomille, Tea Tree, and Aloe Vera extracts, which add natural antibacterial, calming, and relaxing effects for irritated and itchy skins. 

2. O'Keeffe's Healthy Feet Foot Cream 3.2 Ounce Jar

O’Keeffe’s is now a well-established and trustable moisturiser company actually built by a woman whose father had diabetes and a terribly dry skin! Its Healthy Feet Foot Cream has came up many times when interviewing diabetic patients about their favourite foot cream. It’s not expensive, comes in a practical format that you can easily carry in your bag, and has fast and deep moisturising effects.

Its concentrated formula heals, relieves and repairs extremely dry and cracked feet, while creating a protective layer on the skin’s surface that prevents further moisture loss

3. Eucerin Advanced Repair Cream with Ceramide 3

Eucerin Advanced Repair Cream is the #1 pick by pharmacists and dermatologists when it comes to dry skins. Like the PurSources Urea cream, it does contain Urea but at a much lower concentration. Its formula is enriched with Ceramide 3, known as an efficient moisturiser that helps improve the skin barrier function. This cream is fast-absorbing, penetrates deeply into the skin, and does not leave a greasy feel.  

Eucerin is one of the leading and most recommended brand, so you can trust their products. It’s fragrance free and it’s actually a full body moisturiser: it works great on feet, but can be used on the whole body! 

Diabetic Foot Creams - Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best foot cream for diabetics?

There is no such thing as the best diabetic foot cream, but the best foot cream for your own foot problems! Diabetics are more prone to develop various foot problems but each foot problem has different causes (poor blood circulation, dehydration, sensitivity, slow healing process, etc.) and different remedies. 

Your first need to identify which foot problems you have and their causes with your medical team. You can then refer to my list of best diabetic foot creams by category to choose the one that will best suit your needs. 

If you do not have any specific foot problem but need an overall good foot cream for diabetes, refer to section 2 of our article. 

If you suffer from diabetic foot pain caused by diabetic neuropathy and nerve damage, have a look at section 1 where I’ve listed the most efficient pain relief creams for diabetics. 

If you have excessively dry or cracked skin, or calluses, your best choices are in section 3 of this article. 

Should diabetics put lotion on their feet?

When living with diabetes, you should always seek your doctor’s advice before putting any product on your feet. Some products could do you more harm than good and aggravate your foot problems. 

Diabetics can use lotion and cream on their feet, and it’s even often recommended. Part of a good diabetic foot care routine is to keep your feet hydrated, moisturised, and in an healthy environment. Because of high blood sugar levels, diabetics often have dry skin. Foot lotions and creams definitely help with that and are an essential element of our daily life with diabetes. 

But don’t put just any foot lotions. Choose one that best suits your skin and addresses your own foot problems. 

What about foot cream for foot ulcer?

You might have noticed I have not recommended any foot cream for diabetic foot ulcers. That’s because diabetic foot ulcer is a very serious condition that requires medical advice. Treatments for foot ulcers are often other than creams and are not available over the counter. 

If you think you might have a foot ulcer, do not put any product on your foot until you see a doctor. You could aggravate the problem. 

How to apply diabetic foot cream?

Each foot cream has its own notice and “how to use” advice. As a common rule, it is generally recommended to apply any foot cream on clean and dry feet. Remember that when living with diabetes, it is important to gently wash your feet daily and to carefully dry them. 

Once your feet clean and dry, you can apply your diabetic foot cream and gently massage your feet insisting on painful areas. Avoid the in-between toe areas: it’s better to keep it a bit dryer in order to avoid fungal infections. 

Should I get diabetic socks or orthotics too?

Diabetic socks and diabetic foot creams can totally complement each other. In many cases, it’s actually recommended to use both as they both have their own part to play in the prevention against diabetes-related foot problems. 

Diabetic socks have 4 main functions: improving blood circulation; providing extra cushioning and padding; protecting your feet against rubbing and irritations; keeping your feet dry and healthy. They’re different from regular socks, and have more technical features such as non-binding tops, moisture-wicking materials, anti-fungal and bacterial treatments, extra padding, seamless construction, etc. 

If you want optimum protection and prevention for your feet, you should consider wearing diabetic socks as well as orthotics specially designed for diabetes and neuropathy.

 

I hope this article has helped you. Please leave a comment and share your thoughts on the subject. I’d also appreciate you sharing the article so it can help more people!

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10 Responses

    1. Hi Daniel, sorry for late reply. I don’t know about organic diabetic foot cream, but I’ve recently published an article about essential oil products for neuropathy foot pain relief. You can find there several organic all natural blends that actually work! Let me know!

  1. Can you recommend foot wash for diabetics? I have itchy irritated skin and can’t find foot wash that helps, thank you

    1. Hi Kiki40. I have not investigated the topic yet, but it will be the subject of a new article soon. After a quick look, it seems that costumers are very satisfied with the CeravE Diabetic Body Wash. It’s free of paragons and fragrance, very gentle on the skin, and formulated to moisturise and sooth the skin. I have not tested it myself though! Let me know if you find a good product so I can share with others 🙂

  2. I have used Pure sciences neuropathy nerve pain that you mention for years and it’s the only one that actually workS and reduces pain for me. I tried so many foot creams over the years, this is the only efficient one.

    1. Hi Karen! Thank you for your comment. I’m glad Pure Sciences neuropathy foot cream helps you reduce foot pain. It’s a great product and many of my readers have reported high efficiency against diabetic neuropathy foot pain! All the best to you, Laura

    1. Hi Patrica, if you have no further problem and dry skin is your only problem (with no infection nor any other suspicious pain) I’d say your best choice would be the PurSources Urea 40% Foot Cream. It’s the most hydrating and deep moisturising you can get!

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About the author

Laura Pandolfi diabetes blogger

I’m Laura. Type 1 diabetic. Mother. Traveler. Writer. Researcher. I started this blog 5 years ago to investigate diabetes-related topics and share different views on the subject. I hope you find it useful!

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