UAMS-Developed Foot Therapy Cream Reaches Walmart Stores in Seven States

By Holland Doran

Omnibalm Daily Foot Therapy is a non-greasy formula that softens and helps repair dry, cracked skin and keeps feet healthy and shoes smelling fresh. It is marketed by Balm Innovations LLC, a UAMS BioVentures startup company licensed to take UAMS inventions from laboratories to the marketplace.

Omnibalm can be found in the diabetic sections of many Walmart Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets, and Discount Stores in Arkansas, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas.

Gurley’s inspiration for the cream came as the result of his own severe sunburn 27 years ago. His research led him to tea tree oil, which comes from Australia’s Melaleuca tree and has a long history as an effective treatment for many skin maladies.

“If you dig through the medical literature, tea tree oil has a lot of unique medicinal properties,” Gurley said. “It has natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. And it also acts as a skin permeation enhancer, which allows skin cells to absorb it more quickly.”

Lydia Carson, president and CEO of Balm Innovations, learned of the cream while enrolled in the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s Executive M.B.A. program. Her own experience with the cream and the testimonials of others convinced her that it was a good business opportunity.

“We gave it to our friends and it worked on everybody; everybody loved it,” Carson said. “Even the skeptical people loved it. That’s when we realized it had to be out there in stores.”

As a UAMS BioVentures startup company, Balm Innovations has a license to market the cream, while a percentage of profits go back to UAMS and the inventor. Omnibalm is undergoing a clinical trial for use in preventing recurrent diabetic foot ulcers. More information can be found at

In his 24 years at UAMS, Gurley has established himself as the nation’s foremost expert on the herb-drug interactions and the dangers of ephedra. His research, court testimony and national media exposure helped lead to the 2004 FDA ban on ephedra-based supplements.

UAMS is the state's only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Translational Research Institute and Institute for Digital Health & Innovation. UAMS includes UAMS Health, a statewide health system that encompasses all of UAMS' clinical enterprise including its hospital, regional clinics and clinics it operates or staffs in cooperation with other providers. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. U.S. News & World Report recognized UAMS Medical Center as a Best Hospital for 2021-22; ranked its ear, nose and throat program among the top 50 nationwide for the third year; and named five areas as high performing — colon cancer surgery, diabetes, hip replacement, knee replacement and stroke. Forbes magazine ranked UAMS as seventh in the nation on its Best Employers for Diversity list. UAMS also ranked in the top 30% nationwide on Forbes’ Best Employers for Women list and was the only Arkansas employer included. UAMS has 2,876 students, 898 medical residents and six dental residents. It is the state's largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses, Arkansas Children's, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit or Find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.