30 June 2010

A Miracle Cure

I have been meaning to write about this for a long time. Living in the desert, the air is very dry. Because the air is very dry, my skin is very dry. Because I love to wear sandals, my feet are very, very dry. In fact, they crack and hurt. Hiking a lot also makes my feet worse. But I have found a miracle cure. Lanolin. Lanolin is a lotion often used by breastfeeding mothers, but I have found it to be the best moisturizer many occasions. Lanolin is not a standard lotion by itself, though it is used in many lotions. In its pure form it is more useful in treating serious dry cracking skin problems.

In the case of my feet, most other lotions just moisturized the top layer of skin, which seemed to soften and weaken the skin. Further sandal wearing just maked my feet hurt worse. Lanolin, on the other hand, seems to moisten deep into my skin. It actually helps my feet heal. Usually in just two days of my special lanolin application and my feet are almost entirely healed.

As you can see in the above pictures of my heel (kind of gross, I know), after only one day of lanolin use the cracks in my skin are healing. Well, maybe you can't see that very well. The second picture is so blurry. It's hard to take pictures of the bottoms of your own feet.

The secret to effective lanolin use is to apply the lotion to the dry skin and leave it there to work its magic as long as you can. My special lanolin application method is really quite simple, but very effective. I apply a generous amount of lanolin to my dry, cracked heals. Following the application, I put my socks and shoes on. This keeps the lanolin on my feet all day long. I don't usually put lanolin on while wearing my sandals because it makes my sandals stink. Lanolin is not a nice smelling lotion. I have found that Lansinoh brand lanolin has the least offensive smell.

A word of caution. Many people are allergic to lanolin. Make sure you are not allergic to lanolin before you use it. It can cause sever rashes and make your skin problems worse if you have an allergic reaction.

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