Does it seem that no matter how well you take care of your feet, they’re somehow always marred with rough patches of dry skin, especially around the heels? Lack of moisture is one of the biggest culprits, but there are several other reasons why your feet and heels accumulate dead skin cells. Read on for some surprising causes of dry feet as well as the 10 best ways to remove dead skin from your feet.
Causes Of Dry, Cracked Feet And Heels
There are many reasons you might have dry skin on your feet, including:
Footwear: Outside lack of proper moisture, one of the most common causes of dry foot skin is shoes. Frequently wearing the same pair of shoes can lead to constant rubbing and a build up of dry skin, as can wearing shoes and sandals that leave your foot skin exposed to harsh, skin drying elements like dirt and grime.
Certain Cleansers: Many soaps and shower gels contain harsh chemicals that can zap moisture out of foot skin.
Frequent Standing: People who often have to stand or walk all day usually have more dry foot skin than those who don’t. The reasons are likely constant rubbing from footwear and the pressure the feet are under all day, which can trap dead skin cells in one place.
Obesity: Overweight people tend to suffer from super dry foot skin as their feet must carry extra weight and their circulation may not be as healthy.
Certain Medical Conditions: Some medical conditions cause the skin on the feet to become rough, flaky and dry. Some examples include Athlete’s foot, psoriasis and even cancer.
10 Ways To Get Rid Of Dead Skin From Your Feet
If you’re tired of having super dry feet that resemble the Sahara, then try these powerful methods to remove the dead skin from your heels, soles and toes. Just be sure to follow up each method with a generous application of a good quality foot cream to help keep your newfound moisture in place!
1. Treat Your Feet To A Foot Soak
One of the most effective ways to rejuvenate your feet and help break down dead foot skin is by indulging in a relaxing foot soak. The warm water will seep into the cracks and help loosen dead skin cells, and the effect is even greater when you add skin softening agents like coconut oil. To find out how to make the perfect, skin softening footbath, check out this guide to DIY foot soaks.
2. Use Lemon Juice To Break Down Tough Skin
Lemons contain a high amount of citric acid that can help break down patches of dead skin and calluses. It also contains potassium, which helps moisturize dry skin. The best way to use lemon to remove dead skin cells is to mix two parts lemon juice with one part sugar and scrub the mixture onto the rough areas. After sloughing for a minute or two, rinse with warm water.
*Note: Do not use lemon to help break down tough foot skin if you have any skin cracks or open wounds, as the natural acids can cause a strong burning sensation.
3. Scrub Problem Areas With A Pumice Stone
Pumice stones are one of the most popular foot care tools for a reason. The small pieces of porous, volcanic rock are perfect for scrubbing away dead skin and calluses without damaging the skin and creating a worse problem than when you started. Just be sure to read about the proper way to scrub your feet and care for your pumice stone here.
4. Use Vinegar To Blast Through Dry Patches
Vinegar has been used as a natural treatment of many ailments for thousands of years, dry foot skin being one of them. To eliminate general foot dryness, soak your feet in a solution of equal parts vinegar and water (any thin vinegar will work, but we recommend apple cider vinegar) for 15 minutes and then rinse with warm water. To eliminate thick calluses, apply the vinegar directly to the skin with a cotton ball and cover with a bandage overnight. Just be sure not to allow the vinegar to touch the surrounding skin, as the natural acid can be quite irritating.
READ MORE: 7 Ways Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits Foot Health
5. Exfoliate With A Hydrating Foot Scrub
Foot scrubs can help gently slough away rough, dry foot skin. But scrubs turn into miracle workers when they contain moisturizing, nourishing ingredients like fruit, spices and certain oils. For seriously smooth feet, try one of these DIY foot scrubs.
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6. Soften Your Feet With A Paraffin Wax Treatment
Paraffin wax is known as a miracle softener for spa-going crowds due to its intense moisturizing properties and ability to remove dry skin. When you dip your feet into warm, melted Paraffin wax, its natural emollients open skin pores and moisturize the skin. And when the cooled wax is pulled off, it pulls dead skin cells away with it.
You can ask for a Paraffin wax treatment at your local spa, or you can buy the product online or at a beauty supply shop and give yourself a Paraffin wax dip at home.
7. Allow Glycerin To Help Melt Away Dry Skin
Glycerin is a sugar alcohol widely used in pharmaceutical products for its moisturizing properties. Not only is it often added as a lubricant to things like tooth paste, shaving cream and hair products, it’s also frequently added to soaps and lotions due to its powerful ability to soften the skin. To use glycerin to help remove dry skin from you feet, apply the product directly to the dry patches of skin, leave on for about 15 to 20 minutes and rinse with warm water.
8. Nourish Your Feet With Crushed Banana
Bananas contain a high amount of potassium, which is a super-hydrator for dry, cracked skin. To make an effective banana cure, crush an overripe banana into a thick paste and apply it to your feet. Leave on for 15 minutes and then rinse with warm water.
9. Use Aspirin To Alleviate A Dry Foot Situation
Aspirin isn't just for headaches. It's also a unique way to break down dead skin cells and calluses. Just crush six aspirin tablets into a powder form and mix with one-half teaspoon of lemon juice and one-fourth teaspoon of water. Spread the homemade paste onto the affected areas of skin and cover your feet with a plastic bag for 10 minutes. Remove the coverings and rinse the area with warm water.
10. Tackle Dry Skin With A Foot Cream Or Foot Peel
There are several powerful foot creams on the market that can help you blast through dead skin cells, one of the most recommended by podiatrists being AmLactin Foot Cream. The product’s lactic acid mixed with ammonium hydroxide, potassium and sodium lactate eats through dead skin, leaving you with soft, supple foot skin.
Meanwhile, the beauty world has been astonished with a Japanese foot product called Baby Foot for quite some time due to the peel’s ability to completely replace and replenish foot skin within a matter of days. Though it’s often called weird and gross because it literally makes you shed your skin like a snake, it flies off drugstore shelves across the nation despite. Why, you might ask? Because it removes dead skin cells from feet like a boss!
Looking for more ways to get your feet in tip-top shape? Follow these 7 steps for naturally pretty feet and learn which of the different types of pedicures are best for your feet and specific foot issues.