Our feet work hard for us. Unfortunately, most of us don’t take care of them as we should. Between the thousands of steps we take each day, standing, and regular physical activity, our feet take a beating. This kind of stress on the feet can cause thick skin and calluses to build up over time.
One of the best ways to take care of your feet is to use tried-and-tested products to remove the dead skin and leave your feet looking healthy and smooth. It’s easy to assume that just because that skin is dead, you can use something like a traditional razor or blade. But shaving the skin off your feet should never be done with a sharp blade.
Certain chemicals may also work but can be dangerous and painful. Going to a salon or spa to get the skin removed can work, but they are expensive and may not always be effective in getting all the skin off. The good news is that there are some natural dead skin on feet removal methods work.
Why is it essential to remove the thick, dead skin from your feet? It’s for more than just cosmetic reasons. While removing this thickened skin will help your feet to feel and look better, it can also protect them. Too many dead skin cells can lead to problems, like corns and warts. The thick skin can also lead to cracking on your feet, which may open you up to an infection.
Table of Contents:
- 1 What Are the Causes of Dead Skin on the Feet?
- 2 How to Remove Dead Skin from the Feet Naturally
- 2.1 1) Use a Foot Soak to Remove Dead Skin and Calluses
- 2.2 2) How to Remove Dead Skin from Feet with a Razor
- 2.3 3) Using a Pumice Stone to Remove Calluses
- 2.4 4) How to Remove Dead Skin from Feet Using Baking Soda
- 2.5 5) Make a DIY Exfoliating Foot Scrub
- 3 Can a Lack of Moisture Cause Dead Skin on Feet?
- 4 How to Take Care of Your Feet
- 5 Is it Safe to Remove Dead Skin from My Feet?
What Are the Causes of Dead Skin on the Feet?
Dead skin on your feet usually builds up because of environmental factors or medical conditions.
Some of the most common causes of this buildup include:
1) Keeping Your Feet in Water for Too Long
You might think feet that are exposed to water would be soft and supple. But, water can cause your feet to lose their natural oils. The skin can become dry and scaly. This causes it to become thick as additional dead skin cells form.
2) Harsh Chemicals Found in Soaps and Detergents
If you’re not using a mild soap to wash your feet, you could also be rubbing away the natural oils. Again, this makes it easier for a buildup of dead skin to occur.
3) Rubbing Your Feet Against Something
Thick calluses can form when your foot rubs against something consistently. More often than not, it’s the inside of a shoe.
Think about how much you walk in a day and how much your feet are rubbing against the insides of your shoes. Over time, this rubbing can cause additional dead skin cells to form.
4) Skin Conditions
Dead skin on the bottom of your feet can also be caused by different skin conditions. Skin diseases like eczema and psoriasis can create scaling on the feet, making the skin thicker.
As you can see, some of these issues can be prevented. Or, you can at least lower your risk by making a few lifestyle changes. Sometimes, though, it isn’t always that easy.
How to Remove Dead Skin from the Feet Naturally
Our feet go through a lot regularly. So, what can you do to naturally get rid of thick skin and calluses on your feet? Let’s look at a few safe solutions.
1) Use a Foot Soak to Remove Dead Skin and Calluses
One of the best ways to help shave away dead skin at home is to pamper your feet. By taking proper care of your feet, you can soften this dead skin and make it easier to shave away. Using a foot soak is a great way to do this. Plus, it can be a relaxing experience while you do it!
There are many different ways to soak your feet and many different ‘recipes’ for types of soaks. Typically, a foot soak is done in a basin or foot spa machine. It starts with warm water, and other ingredients are added for different benefits.
Warm water on its own can be effective in a pinch. It will loosen some of the dead skin cells. But, you’ll get the most benefits by adding other potent ingredients to your foot soaks. Some of the best foot-soaking options to soften dead skin cells include:
Soaking Your Feet in Lemon Juice
You can either use 100% pure lemon juice or add fresh lemon juice into a basin of warm water. Soak your feet in the mixture for 1-15 minutes each day.
Lemon juice is acidic. It will help to soften your skin, making the dead cells easier to remove.
Add Epsom Salts
By adding Epsom salts to your foot soak, you’re not only softening your skin but providing significant benefits to your feet.
Epsom salts contain minerals that can be absorbed into your skin quickly. These minerals can do everything from reducing inflammation to improving your blood circulation.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Add ¼ cup of vinegar into your foot soak. Like lemon juice, vinegar is acidic and can help to soften the skin on the bottom of your feet.
It will also help to protect your feet from things like toenail fungus and athlete’s foot.
It may sound strange, but Listerine has become somewhat of a favorite foot soaking option to get rid of dead skin. But, it may not be as effective if you use it on its own.
For best results, prepare a foot soak and add one cup of Listerine and one cup of vinegar to a basin of warm water. The Listerine will help to kill germs and bacteria. The vinegar will soften your skin.
Keep in mind that foot soaks themselves won’t cause the dead skin from your feet to slough away. You may be able to get rid of some dirt and debris just by soaking.
But this method works best to get rid of dead skin when you combine it with a foot file or pumice stone. Softer skin is easier to ‘shave’ away. So, consider a foot soak a key part of the process of getting rid of calloused feet.
How often should you do a foot soak? You can take the time to soak your feet as often as you’d like, even several times a week. The most important thing is to make sure your feet are completely dry afterward.
2) How to Remove Dead Skin from Feet with a Razor
You can buy razors and foot shavers almost anywhere. But, they aren’t typically recommended by doctors. Many foot shavers contain sharp blades.
If they are misused or with too much pressure, you can cut into your skin. That can cause bleeding and lead to infection. Plus, it can be excruciating.
Once you’ve softened the skin of your feet with a foot soak, one of the best ways to ‘shave’ it away is with a foot file. There are many different foot files and callus removers on the market. They each offer various features and benefits.
Foot files like this safely shave away the excess skin from your feet without the risk of cutting yourself or shaving off too much. They feature coarse rollers that gently buff away hardened skin, instead of cutting it off.
Because foot files are so easy to use, you can periodically pull them away and check just how much progress you’ve made. You determine the speed and coarseness of the roller. You can include one of these rollers in your regular foot care routine.
3) Using a Pumice Stone to Remove Calluses
You can also remove excess skin from your feet with a pumice stone. A pumice can scrape away dead skin and calluses from the bottom of your feet. It’s a porous but abrasive stone that won’t cut your skin when you use it.
To use a pumice stone on your feet, follow these steps:
- Soften your feet before using the stone by soaking them using one of the methods listed above.
- Wet the pumice stone before using it. This will help it to glide across your skin.
- Use a circular motion to rub the stone over the thicker areas of skin (usually the heels and the sides of the toes).
- Keep rubbing until the dead skin sheds away and you feel softer skin underneath.
- Rinse your feet when you’re done using the stone and dry them off completely.
When you’re using a pumice stone, you don’t need to press too hard. Using light pressure with steady, circular movements is all that’s necessary. You can use it several times a week, or as needed to exfoliate your feet and keep dead skin from building up.
4) How to Remove Dead Skin from Feet Using Baking Soda
Baking soda is a natural abrasive. It’s gentle enough to use safely on the skin. But, it’s strong enough to get rid of dead skin cells and extra tissue.
You can use baking soda in a foot soak by adding a few tablespoons into the basin. Or, you can create a paste to rub directly onto your feet.
To make a paste, mix one tablespoon of baking soda with one teaspoon of water in a small bowl. Gently rub the mixture on the bottom of your feet.
Let it sit for 5-10 minutes, before rinsing off your feet and drying them off. You can even combine this treatment by using a pumice stone to focus on the really rough areas, like the heels.
Not only will baking soda help to get rid of dead skin on your feet, but it will also leave your skin feeling smooth. If your feet tend to perspire a lot, baking soda is a great way to help with that. It will soak up excess moisture which can help with fungal infections and bad odors.
5) Make a DIY Exfoliating Foot Scrub
There are many types of foot scrubs, but they can be expensive. Plus, you want to make sure you’re using a scrub that will exfoliate your skin and help to slough away dead, thick skin.
The good news is you can create a foot scrub at home. It’s easy to do and much cheaper than buying an over-the-counter product.
Check out this recipe for making your scrub:
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup olive oil
Mix these two ingredients in a small bowl, and store in an air-tight container. This is a simple recipe that you can get several uses from. Apply it all over your feet. Pay special attention to rougher, thicker areas that have calluses.
You should be able to feel the brown sugar exfoliating your skin as the olive oil helps to add moisture. After a few minutes, rinse the mixture away and dry your feet thoroughly.
This is only one example of a DIY foot scrub. There are hundreds of different recipes you can try to help get rid of your dead skin and leave your feet feeling great. You can even add essential oils for added benefits.
Get creative with your foot scrubs to fit the needs of your feet. Whatever you try, make sure it contains abrasive ingredients like sugar or salt. This will help to make sure it works as an exfoliant.
Can a Lack of Moisture Cause Dead Skin on Feet?
A lack of moisture doesn’t necessarily cause a buildup of dead skin. But, it can cause calluses and thick skin to crack open. Dead skin is often dryer than soft and supple skin.
So, it’s easier to crack and cause problems. When your skin does crack open, it can put you at risk of infection. Think about everything your feet go through in a day. It’s easy for dirt and debris to get into any opening.
Thankfully, many of the solutions will also help to moisturize your feet. Foot soaks with essential oils can rehydrate your skin and help you to prevent cracking. You can also try an over-the-counter foot cream or a natural solution like coconut oil.
Keeping your feet hydrated will also help to soften the calloused areas, making them easier to file away as needed.
How to Take Care of Your Feet
Again, it’s easy to ignore our feet until we notice a problem or they become embarrassing. It’s not impossible to avoid a buildup of dead skin with a few simple self-care tips. Establishing a proper foot care routine is the best way to avoid calluses and dead skin.
Include these helpful tips in your everyday routine for beautiful, healthy feet:
- Always wear the right shoes. Shoes that don’t fit right create extra pressure on your feet. This can lead to calluses and thick skin. Ill-fitting shoes can also lead to other ailments like injured toes and even fungal infections. Have your feet measured and select a size that won’t cause pressure when you stand throughout the day. For existing footwear, add more room with a shoe stretching device.
- Moisturize your feet every day. If you use an over-the-counter moisturizer, make sure it doesn’t contain alcohol. This can dry out your skin faster. Additionally, avoid taking hot baths or showers, as this can suck moisture from your feet as well.
- Be sure to exercise and take care of your body. One of the causes of thick skin on the feet is being overweight, because of the added pressure. Taking care of yourself by exercising can help you to lose weight and take some of the stress off your feet.
Besides these tips, try to give your feet a rest periodically throughout the day. One possible cause for a buildup of dead skin is standing for hours at a time.
Reduce some of this pressure by sitting down when you can. If you have a job that requires you to stand all day, be sure you’re resting your feet while you can when at home to take some of this pressure away.
Is it Safe to Remove Dead Skin from My Feet?
It’s not uncommon to have a buildup of dead skin cells on the bottom of the feet. After all, we expect a lot from our feet on a daily basis, so it’s not surprising these calluses form. But if you let that buildup go for too long, it can become unsightly and irritating.
Removing dead, calloused skin from your feet is safe when it’s done correctly and with the right tools. We hope this guide has given you some tips on how to remove it safely.
Make sure to soften your skin before trying to remove the thickened areas. Never use a razor or blade against your feet to remove dead skin.
Finally, take proper care of your feet by adopting a regular foot care routine. By taking some of the stress away from your feet and keeping them moisturized, you can lower your chances of dead skin building up.