Are you afraid of wearing open heels and always wear shoes to avoid exposing a cracked heel and thick dead skin? Your feet are suffering from dead skin because of a lack of moisture and care.
Dry skin is also common among people who take care of their skin regularly. Note that just using those expensive foot creams and scrubs won’t always help.
Drying of the skin is a natural process that promotes the development of healthy skin cells by exfoliating and removing dead skin cells.
It usually occurs on the heels and between the toes, sometimes sides of the feet. This can cause itching and even pain in the affected area. This can be annoying, but it is rarely harmful.
In this article, we have listed some simple tips like exfoliation, using moisturizers and soaking your feet to remove dry, dead and thick skin and calluses from the feet.
What causes dead skin on the feet?
Dry, dead or loose skin on your feet is a natural way of your body to shed and exfoliate dead skin cells and replace them with healthy skin cells.
Dead skin is usually caused by a lack of moisture that occurs when your feet are almost always inside the shoes or thick socks.
Moreover, running and walking in those shoes and socks adds up to frequent drying and shedding of skin because of friction and pressure. You have to exfoliate and moisturize your feet on a regular and consistent basis. If you want to get rid of this problem.
Factors that may cause dry skin on the feet
1. Irritation due to Shoes
Wearing shoes that are too tight or socks that are too thick can put constant pressure on certain areas of your feet. Running or walking in those uncomfortable and tight shoes can be a reason for dry, cracked or calloused feet.
2. Low Moisture
Your heels and soles have lesser oil glands than anywhere else on the body. Not moisturising them frequently can cause the skin there to become dry, flaky and cracked
It’s really common that your skin loses its regenerative ability as it ages and it cannot retain water and starts becoming thin. Dry skin is also a consequence of ageing in older people.
4. Soaps, Shampoos and Chemicals
Many soaps and shower products contain harsh chemicals or strong irritants that can remove moisture from the skin. Not washing off excess soap completely can also cause irritation and dryness of the skin.
Eczema is a skin condition that causes inflammation of the skin. It can get developed anywhere on the body including the feet. The major symptom of eczema is itchy patches of skin.
2. Athlete’s foot
It is a fungal infection that causes rashes between the does and under the foot.
3. Medical Condition and Medications
Medical conditions such as Diabetes and Hypothyroidism can make your skin lose its ability to generate enough oil to moisturize and can also cause loss of control over sweat glands. As a result, your skin becomes dry and rough.
A person going through a course of certain medication may also experience dryness of the skin on the feet.
How To Remove Dead Skin From Feet
1. Pumice stone
Pumice stone (aka lava stone) is popularly used to get rid of calluses and dead skins. It is a natural stone that occurs from lava.
How to use
- Soak your feet in warm water for 10 – 15 minutes
- Gently rub the pumice stone on the callused area in circular and sideways motion simultaneously.
- No need to overdo it as it can cause soreness. (Don’t use a pumice stone on injured areas)
- Rub it gently with the intention to remove the top layer of your dead skin. But if the skin starts getting red, stop immediately.
- The pumice stone process will allow your skin to generate healthy cells and thus, healthy and soft skin.
- Dry off your feet afterwards and apply moisturizer.
2. Avoid Friction and Wear Comfy Shoes
The best way to prevent calluses is to prevent friction. Always moisturize your feet before wearing socks and shoes. It’s good to use band-aids in case of blisters caused by tight shoes but band-aids don’t stay for long.
As soon as your feet get sweaty, a band-aid will come off. Try avoiding tight shoes and always wearing comfortable shoes. When you buy running shoes, make sure they have an inch of space from the longest toe.
Narrow shoes can also be a reason for blisters and calluses. One more tip is that if you have multiple pairs of running shoes, try interchanging them every day rather than wearing the same pair every day.
3. Foot scrub
The best foot scrub is the one that has granules. Granules will help boost the scrubbing and get rid of dead skin quickly.
Apply the foot scrub directly on your foot. Rub it gently with the use of a foot scrub brush or you can even use your hands or a sponge. Rub it in circular motions to remove dead skin.
Rinse with warm water, pat dry your feet and apply moisturizer.
4. Baby foot peel
You’ve probably heard of Baby Foot already. It is an at-home treatment for making your skin soft, smooth and removing dead skin from your foot. It is a gel-based foot peel product that comes with plastic “booties”.
These contain a mix of moisturizers and creams in them in gel form which help the dead skin shed.
How to use:
- Wash your feet
- Put the “booties” on your feet.
- Keep them on for about 1 hour daily for 5 – 7 days.
- Wash off your feet after one hour with mild soap and water.
Note: It does excessive peeling and sheds skin like crazy. But once you complete the cycle, you will end up with no calluses and soft skin like babies.
5. Foot File
A foot or heel file works just like the pumice stone in smoothing out the skin and removing dead skin and calluses.
- Soak your feet in warm water for 10 – 15 minutes.
- Use the file on the focus area until the skin starts getting softer or gets red.
- Pat dry your feet and apply moisturizer.
- Always wear socks after applying moisturiser to make it work the best.
Soaking your feet in vinegar can soften your skin and remove dry and dead skin and even calluses. Any type of vinegar can do the job, be it apple cider or white vinegar.
- Take a container in which you can soak your feet.
- Add 2 Part cold water and 1 part vinegar.
- Soak your feet for 10 minutes.
- After that, you can use a pumice stone as mentioned before or a foot scrub brush to remove excess dry or dead skin.
- Clean your foot with clean water, pat dry and apply moisturizer or coconut oil before wearing socks.
- It is not recommended to do this treatment every day. (Do it once a week)
7. Epsom salt
Epsom salt is nothing but a crystal form of magnesium sulfate. It can be a great exfoliator for dry and dead skin and it also works for heel cracks.
How to use:
- Take a large container in which you can soak your foot.
- Fill it with warm water and add ½ cup Epsom salt.
- Soak your feet for 20 – 25 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, use a foot scrub brush to gently rub the skin and remove dead skin. (you can also use pumice stone as an alternative for a foot scrub brush).
- Rinse your feet off with clean water.
8. Electric Callus Removers
There are various electric callus removers available online. According to some reviews online, some people claimed that callus removers worked best for them for removing those excess dead skin. So you might as well give it a try.
Moisturizing regularly is the best thing you can do to avoid dry and dead skin. Some creams have alcohol content in them which can be a reason for dryness in the feet.
Hot water usually dries skin quickly so try and avoid hot showers. Always use cold or warm water on the skin to prevent it from drying or cracking.
You should consult your podiatrist to recommend the best oils, creams, ointments and moisturizers for your skin type.
Try doing the methods we mentioned above for exfoliating and scrubbing to see what best works for your skin.