The boss of a Londonderry firm exporting foot cream for diabetes sufferers to Europe, the Middle East and North America, says the locally produced salve will help sufferers avoid painful and costly complications associated with the condition.
Marble Hill Soaps in Londonderry has been assisted by Invest Northern Ireland in the development of the natural and allergen-free cream, PediSalve, especially for diabetic foot care.
The company, based at Skeoge Business Park, used an Invest NI Innovation Voucher in the development of the unique foot cream which is already being sold by Diabetes.co.uk as well as podiatrists, pharmacies and health stores in Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland.
Managing director Dr Maria McGee, an experienced skincare expert, who founded Marble Hill in 2007 to develop a range of hand crafted soaps, said: “PediSalve is a unique chemical and water-free foot cream which may have particular value in the management of the diabetic foot problems by helping to keep the skin as supple as possible.
“It has been well recognised that dry feet may become cracked and fissured. In a high risk foot this could lead to infection and possibly amputation.
“Natural skincare alternatives are perceived within the industry as having great potential and are regularly requested by customers. `
“The Invest NI Innovation Voucher enabled us to access University of Ulster knowledge of existing diabetic footcare products to underpin our natural product credentials.
“Diabetes is one of the most serious problems facing modern society, imposing costs which are physical and mental to the patient and it is currently well evidenced that it is an economic burden to the NHS. The avoidance of associated costs of avoidable complications of diabetes has far-reaching implications.”
The product is also being sold online to customers in Europe, the Middle East, the US and Canada.
Olive Hill, Invest NI’s Director of Innovation and Technology Solutions, commenting on the new foot cream, said: “Our Innovation Voucher enabled Marble Hill to seek advice and practical support on the development of PediSalve from podiatry professionals at the University of Ulster. Marble Hill has also received technical assistance from Invest NI on branding.
“The company has vast experience in the development of skincare products for the alleviation of common problems such as eczema, acne, dermatitis, keratosis and nappy rash. It has used this expertise and knowledge to develop a product for foot problems associated with diabetes, one of the biggest challenges facing the global healthcare industry.
“The business it has secured from Diabetes.co.uk is a very significant endorsement of the innovative cream and should be an important boost as the company seeks to build sales particularly outside Northern Ireland.”
Market tests have also found that PediSalve is suitable for anyone suffering from cracked heels, hard skin and brittle nails. It is, furthermore, popular for massage of arthritic joints and to aid and help improve circulation and lymphatic drainage from the foot and ankle.