Understanding skin structure and cutaneous aging is helpful to a discussion of the topical action of alpha hydroxy acids AHAs. Human skin has two principal components, the avascular epidermis and the underlying vascular dermis. Cutaneous aging, while having epidermal concomitants, seems to involve primarily the dermis and is caused by intrinsic and extrinsic aging factors.
The skin on feet is up to 30 times thicker than on other parts of the body. As feet age, the skin becomes drier and more vulnerable to cracking at the heel, which can lead to infections. Calluses on toes may thicken. Toenails become thicker and more prone to fungus, which can cause odor. And you don’t need to be an athlete to get athlete’s foot.
Bacteria foot odour lives in the hard, cracked skin on the feet and heels. The hard skin and bacteria is easily eliminated with the use of Pure Pedi Exfoliating Boots. The AHA solution penetrates the hard cracked skin and as the skin exfoliated naturally from the inside out the bacteria is also eliminated.
So What Are These Alpha Hydroxy Acids AHAs?
AHAs are a group of organic carboxylic compounds. AHAs most commonly used in cosmetic applications are typically derived from food products including glycolic acid (from sugar cane), lactic acid (from sour milk), malic acid (from apples), citric acid (from citrus fruits) and tartaric acid (from grape wine). For any topical compound, including AHA, it must penetrate into the skin where it can act on living cells.
Glycolic acid is the AHA with greates ability to penetrates the hard cracking skin on heels most easily; this largely accounts for the popularity of this product in cosmetic applications, such as foot peels like Pure Pure Exfoliating Boots.
AHAs have a profound effect on keratinization; which is clinically detectable by the formation of a new stratum corneum. It appears that AHAs modulate this formation through diminished cellular cohesion between corneocytes at the lowest levels of the stratum corneum.
AHAs with greater bioavailability, like glycolic acid appear to have deeper dermal effects. Glycolic acid, lactic acid and citric acid, on topical application to photodamaged skin, have been shown to produce increased amounts of mucopolysaccharides and collagen and increased skin thickness without detectable inflammation, as monitored by skin biopsies.
Alpha hydroxy acids at different concentrations:
In low concentrations, 5 – 10% as is found in many over the counter products, glycolic acid reduces cell adhesion in the top layer of the skin. This action promotes exfoliation of the outermost layer of the skin accounting for smoother texture following regular use of topical GA. This relatively low concentration of glycolic acid lends itself to daily use as a monotherapy or a part of a broader skin care management for such conditions as acne, photo-damage, wrinkling as well as melasma (dark pigmentation).
Care needs to be taken to avoid irritation as this may result in worsening of melasma or other pigmentary problems. Newer formulations combine glycolic acid with an amino acid such as arginine and form a time-release system that reduces the risk of irritation without affecting glycolic acid efficacy. The use of an anti-irritant like allantoin is also helpful. Because of its safety, glycolic acid at the concentrations below 10% can be used daily by most people except those with very sensitive skin. Pure Pedi foot treatments use a safe and gentle 10% combination of alpha hydroxy acids.
AHAs are generally safe when used on the skin as a cosmetic agent using the recommended dosage. The most common side effects are mild skin irritations, redness and flaking. The severity usually depends on the pH and the concentration of the acid used. Chemical peels tend to have more severe side effects including blistering, burning and skin discoloration, although they are usually mild and go away a day or two after treatment.
If your feet are flaky after using Pure Pedi foot treatments, this is because the skin is adjusting to the alpha hydroxy acids and the skin cells are turning over. The peeling process and flaky skin is the skin renewing itself and is a sign that skin will be healthy and fresh. Give the alpha hydroxy acids time to work, your feet will be smoother and softer than ever before.
For tips and advice on how to speed up the peeling process and also stop residual flakiness please see page ‘After Care’