Got Dry Heels? The Solution Is Silicone!

I had recently undergone a surgical procedure that resulted in mild hypertrophic scars.    Not only did this concern me from a cosmetic perspective but there is increasing evidence that scars can cause a disruption in normal neuromuscular control through the myofascial system. 

My surgeon recommended using silicone strips on my incisions to soften and reduce the potential hypertrophic -response or thickening of scar tissue.     I had heard of this technique before but wasn’t certain of the mechanism and why this was the most common recommendation for scar reduction. 

After looking up some research articles I learned that the secret to silicone was hydration. 

The Science of Silicone

Silicone acts as a highly effective occlusive material that is perfect for maintaining the ideal water balance in the scarred tissue.      Hydration is critical to wound healing and supporting natural collagen formation. 

When hydration levels in tissue decrease and the skin turns dry, this triggers cytokines to be released and the fibroblasts go on overdrive – forming excess collagen and hypertrophic tissue. 

Make sense! 

This got me thinking.     Could this silicone-hydration solution work for the feet? 

One of the biggest concerns in feet is dry, callused skin – especially to the heels.     Could there be a benefit to using silicone to support skin hydration in the feet? 

The Curse of Cracked Heels 

If we take this theory of hypertrophic scar formation and apply it to the feet, it is pretty much the same mechanism.    

In dry seasons (hello Summer!) and certain climates there is increased formation of heel calluses.    Like with scar tissue, if the skin in the feet gets dry, this triggers increased fibroblast activity to deposit more collagen as a way to attempt to form a hydration barrier.   

Ultimately no hydration barrier is formed but merely thick, hard, cracked skin.    

Enter Silicone Socks 

A quick search on Amazon will show you that there are dozens of companies marketing silicone heel socks for the management of dry cracked heels.    

But the interesting thing is no one is explaining the science of these socks.      If a consumer doesn’t understand how they work most likely they won’t purchase the product.  I am here to share why these socks are quite effective!

Similar to the silicone scar strips, the silicone heel socks are acting as an occlusive barrier which is balancing the hydration levels of the skin.   This allows the accelerated fibroblast stimulation to slow down.    

If a debriding agent such as urea or lactic acid is used in conjunction or a weekly session with a foot file the results will be even better. 

In the spirit of my silicone scar strips, I’ve been using silicone socks every night!

My go-to silicone socks are by Voesh as they are super soft, can be used up to 50 times and cost only $9!    In addition these Moisturing Socks feature an olive oil and jojoba oil blend which makes the heels even softer. 

The results after just a couple nights, are impressive! I am official a super-fan of silicone-based skin care!

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