What is FootMedix from Dermal Medix?
Formulated by Dr. David Watts, MD, FootMedix by Dermal Medix is a topical solution that claims to strengthen skin, stimulate new growth, and increase circulation, aimed at protecting and restoring severely dry, cracked, and painful feet.
In order to achieve this, Dermal Medix tells us that FootMedix's active ingredients—including the Nobel Prize-winning ingredient human epidermal growth factor (hEGF)—deliver “rapid healing,” provide deep moisturization, and keep perspiration away from the skin.
In fact, Dr. Watts claims these ingredients will start working in just five minutes, regardless of your age!
According to the company, all you need to do is apply FootMedix to clean, dry feet twice daily, focusing on any areas where you’re experiencing dry, damaged skin. While the exact results you’ll experience will vary, Dermal Medix claims that many customers “feel and see a difference within just minutes of their first use.”
Just because it’s formulated by a doctor, though, can you expect FootMedix to leave you with healthier, more attractive feet? Is it worth the higher price? Let’s take a look at the facts.
What Causes Calluses and Dry Skin?
Calluses aren't much more than the flat build-up of hard skin, usually located on the bottom of feet and hands and caused by repeated pressure or friction in a specific area. These are different than corns, which typically feature a soft core that falls inward.
Although not directly related, dry skin (insufficient moisture)—which is often caused by environmental factors like weather, humidity levels, hot showers, and more—can cause calluses to become increasingly uncomfortable.
In general, calluses cause little more than minor discomfort and can often be addressed by wearing shoes that fit, adding padding where needed, using salicylic acid to soften the callus (or soaking in warm water) and removing with a pumice stone, and more.
In some instances, you might need to visit your podiatrist for professional callus removal, and/or to purchase specialized orthotics that can help prevent calluses from getting worse, while relieving at least some measure of discomfort.
From a moisturization perspective, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends avoiding excessively hot baths or showers; using a gentle, fragrance-free cleanser, applying an ointment or a cream (instead of lotion) immediately after bathing, and using a humidifier at home, especially during the winter months when heat can dry out skin.
What about the ingredients in FootMedix? Will they deliver any better results than these suggestions?
What Ingredients Are Found In FootMedix and Is the Formula Clinically Proven?
According to the Dermal Medix website, FootMedix contains the following ingredients (only active ingredients are hyperlinked):
Water, Glycerine, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Emulsifying Wax NF, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) Dimethicone, Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Propylene Glycol, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-8, PEG-100 Stearate, PEG-40 Stearate, Beta-Glucan, Glyceryl Caprylate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Panthenol, Clotrimazole, Human Oligopeptide-1, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Disodium EDTA, Triethanolamine, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil
Of these, the vast majority work as surfactants, emulsifiers, humectants, emollients, and cleansing agents. In other words, they help clean skin and trap moisture, improving symptoms of dry skin and helping to prevent irritation.
Clotrimazole is often used in over-the-counter creams to treat (or prevent) fungal skin infections, like athlete’s foot and jock itch. Tea tree oil is thought to perform a similar function.
What about the human epidermal growth factor (hEGF) mentioned on the FootMedix website? This appears to reference the human oligopeptide-1, which Amarte Skincare defines as:
… a small polypeptide of 53 amino acids that serves as a cytokine to stimulate epidermal cell growth and proliferation. This peptide is derived from non-human sources using recombinant DNA biotechnology. Also known as EGF or epidermal growth factor.
However, we didn’t find any clinical evidence supporting this claim, or that human oligopeptide-1 can reliably lead to improved skin condition (at least compared to other traditional moisturizers). Keep this in mind, because we’ll revisit this topic in the final section.
See more: 4 Health Benefits of a Cold Shower
Speaking of which, Dermal Medix claims that in clinical trials conducted by Dr. Watts, “100% of users reported improvement in foot calluses and dry skin, and a staggering 96% of FootMedix users reported results they classified as “phenomenal.” Again, no support for these claims is provided.
Will FootMedix Cause Any Side Effects?
Unless you have especially sensitive skin, you probably won’t experience anything worse with FootMedix than mild, temporary redness in the application area.
However, when it comes to PEG-8, PEG-100 Stearate, PEG-40 Stearate, Truth in Aging writes:
“Products and formulas containing PEGs should not be used on broken or irritated skin. Although PEGs are considered safe for use topically on healthy skin, studies showed that patients suffering from severe burns were treated with PEG-based antimicrobial cream; this treatment resulted in kidney toxicity.”
How Much Does FootMedix Cream Cost?
While FootMedix is only available directly through Dermal Medix, how much you pay depends on which of their websites you purchase from. For example, on their Funnel Order page, you’ll pay the following:
- 1 Bottle (no amount listed): $49, plus $4.95 S&H
- 2 Bottles: $86
- 3 Bottles: $120
On the other hand, if ordered on their Product page, you’ll pay:
- 1 Tube (again, no amount listed): $120
- 2 Tubes: $228
- 3 Tubes: $324
All of these secondary options come with free S&H.
Regardless of how much you pay, though, Dermal Medix provides a 90-day risk-free guarantee on FootMedix purchases, less S&H charges. To request one, customer service can be reached at 800-425-0243 or email@example.com.
Are There Any Reviews for FootMedix and How Does It Compare to the Competition?
Despite the fact that FootMedix has been on the market for years (it was originally trademarked in 2009), we didn’t come across any customer reviews for the topical cream at the time of our research.
If you’re looking for an antifungal moisturizing cream, though, you have hundreds of different options, several of which will be available at local pharmacies. On top of this, many of these can be purchased for as little as $8.
Dermal Medix justifies FootMedix’s meaningfully higher price with the inclusion of 4% dimethicone, which they call a “powerful antifungal, perspiration blocker.”
However, WebMD indicates it’s only a moisturizer, so we’re not sure this claim is accurate. Instead, they’re almost certainly referencing clotrimazole, an extraordinarily common ingredient found in OTC antifungal creams.
What’s up with that Nobel Prize-winning human epidermal growth factor (hEGF) again?
While the discovery of epidermal growth factor won the 1986 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, we didn’t find any clinical evidence on authoritative websites drawing a direct link between oligopeptide-1 and improved cellular growth and differentiation in humans.
Who Is Dr. David Watts, MD?
According to his bio on the FootMedix website, Dr. David Watts is a double-board certified plastic surgeon, President of QuadASF, a proud Army Major, and a former Assistant Clinical Professor of Plastic Surgery Johns Hopkins University.
Currently, Dr. Watts works as CEO of Dr. Watts' Skin Care International (no additional information available online) and President-Elect for the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities, Inc. (AAAASF).
He’s also Medical Director and CEO for Watts Plastic Surgery Association, Ambulatory Surgery Center.
Will FootMedix by Dermal Medix Cure Your Foot Problems?
Even if you don’t have diabetes, calluses can cause a great deal of discomfort, and can even be a cause for concern under the right circumstances. And almost all of us have experienced dry skin at some point, as well as the tight, itchy skin that can result.
Will FootMedix’s ingredients help address either of these issues? Based on what we learned from authoritative websites like WebMD, it seems the vast majority could help trap moisture against the skin and relieve dryness.
In turn, it’s reasonable to believe that this moisturization could also help soften calluses and reduce the discomfort they cause.
But considering how common most of these ingredients are, we’re not sure that FootMedix’s formulation will provide meaningfully better results than the (sometimes much) lower-priced competition, or deliver more value for the much higher cost.
And as we've discussed a couple of times already, the only standout ingredient compared to the competition, oligopeptide-1, seems to have limited evidence indicating it can improve cellular growth and differentiation in humans.
In the end, the choice is up to you. But if you’re looking to boost hydration from products you already own, be sure to read Making the Most Out of Your Moisturizer!