Diabetic Foot Health

People with diabetes are often prone to dry skin on their feet due to a number of factors, including anhidrosis (the inability to sweat normally) which is commonly associated with diabetic neuropathy. Flexitol® is a urea-based emollient (at 25% urea and 10% urea concentrations) that provides a medically proven regime for dry, cracked heels and feet associated with diabetic anhidrosis.

Understanding the role of urea in emollient selections

People with diabetes are often prone to dry skin on their feet due to a number of factors, including anhidrosis (the inability to sweat normally) which is commonly associated with diabetic neuropathy.1, 2


Flexitol® is a urea-based emollient (at 25% urea and 10% urea concentrations) that provides a medically proven regime for dry, cracked heels and feet associated with diabetic anhidrosis.1 Urea is a physiological substance that is widely used across the Flexitol® range of products due to its highly hydrating and moisturising properties. It is a major constituent of the skin’s Natural Moisturising Factor (NMF) and is widely distributed within human tissue. In some dry skin conditions, urea appears depleted and so Flexitol® 25% Urea Heel Balm replenishes these levels.


Being inherently hygroscopic, urea hydrates the skin by increasing the water uptake from the dermis layer of the skin and enhances the water-binding capacity of the stratum corneum.


In a double-blind comparative study, 30 outpatients with bilateral anhidrosis applied a 10% urea cream to the right foot and a 25% urea cream to the left foot, twice daily. Results indicate that both creams increased skin hydration levels significantly, with the 25% urea cream showing an increase more than double that for the 10% urea cream.1

1. Baird S, et al. 2003. Anhydrosis in the Diabetic Foot: A Comparison of Two Urea Creams. The Diabetic Foot, Vol. 6 No. 3, 122-36.

2. Lower extremity amputation in diabetic patients. Lund University, Doctoral Thesis, 1994.