How To Get Rid Of Dead Skin On Feet and Its Causes
However, many people who take good care of their skin with expensive foot creams and foot scrubs also struggle with excessive dryness. It is important to understand that dead or loose skin on your feet is a natural process where your feet exfoliate and remove dead skin cells to allow healthy skin cells to develop.
Dead skin usually appears due to the lack of moisture that occurs when the feet are regularly suffocated in closed shoes or heavy socks. Athlete’s foot or friction from running or walking can also promote dead skin. If you don’t have a regular foot care regimen of exfoliating, moisturizing or vinegar foot soaks, you’re more likely to experience this problem.
Dead skin can appear on the bottom of the feet, causing the feet to be excessively dry and cracked. If it’s caused by eczema, athlete’s foot, or other serious infections, dead skin can be quite painful.
Causes of Dead Skin On Feet
Common causes of dry feet and dead skin buildup include:
- Weather – As the seasons change, our skin can react negatively. Cold weather can cause the skin on the feet to dry out.
- Diabetes – Diabetes can cause changes in the skin of your feet. Sometimes your foot can be very dry. The skin may peel and crack. The problem is that the nerves that control the oil and moisture in your leg are no longer working,” explains the American Diabetes Association.
- Calluses – Calluses can form on the foot when the feet are subjected to high pressure or friction due to footwear, sports or daily activities.
- Showering – “Dry skin is mainly caused by too much bathing and soap. Soap removes the skin’s natural protective oils. Once they’re gone, the skin can’t retain moisture,” says Seattle Children’s Hospital.
Age and hormones – Skin, including the skin on the feet, can become dry due to changes in the body.
- Skin conditions – Patients suffering from skin conditions such as eczema are more likely to experience dry feet and dead skin build-up.
- Soap – Soaps and lotions that contain sulfates are very good at removing impurities from the skin, but they also remove moisture very well. Some laundry detergents also contain chemicals that can dry out the skin. Not washing your feet or washing them more often can lead to this kind of problem.
- Lack of moisture – Another major cause of most skin related problems is the fact that our skin either has too much moisture or none at all. Dry skin is especially common on the soles of the feet because there are fewer sebaceous glands that produce natural sebum.
- Moisture – his can be caused by weather conditions or closed shoes you wear. Extremely hot and humid temperate climates can also lead to thick, cracked or dry feet.
Treatments For To Get Rid Of Dead Skin On Feet
1. Pumice stone
Natural lava stone, pumice stone, are a popular way to remove calluses and dead skin from the feet. For best results, soak your feet in warm water for 15 to 20 minutes before you begin. Easy to use, all you have to do is dip a pumice stone in warm water and then gently move it over your feet in a circular motion to remove dead skin from your feet. Make sure you stop once you’ve removed the top layer of dead skin (redness or bleeding means you’ve definitely gone too far!), and then apply a lotion or foot cream. Never use pumice stone on broken skin or an injured area.
2. Foot peeling
Easily found at drugstores and pharmacies, foot scrubs physically exfoliate dead skin from your feet. Simply apply the scrub directly to your leg and rub it in with your hand, sponge or brush. Once you’re done, rinse your feet thoroughly with water and apply lotion to lock in moisture.
3. Paraffin wax
Paraffin wax is a type of soft wax that melts at around 125°F, which is warm enough to be effective but not so hot that it burns your skin. For the treatment, your feet are dipped in paraffin wax several times until several layers are applied, then your feet are wrapped in plastic. After the wax hardens, the plastic is removed and the dead skin on your feet combines with it, leaving your skin soft and smooth.
However, paraffin wax is not an option for everyone, especially if you have an open wound, sore or rash on your leg; poor blood circulation; or if you lose feeling in your legs. If you are doing the treatment at home, be sure to carefully regulate the temperature of the wax with a thermometer to avoid burning yourself.
4. Soak or scrub with Epsom salt
Epsom salt—a crystalline form of magnesium sulfate, which is a mineral compound—is a great natural remedy for removing dead skin from your feet. Sprinkle epsom salt into the water and let it dissolve, then soak your feet in the skin scrub.
Use half a cup of Epsom salt for a foot bath or a full cup for a full bath full of warm water. After 20 minutes, you can use a foot brush or a pumice stone to help remove dead skin from your feet.
You can also create a foot scrub by combining a handful of Epsom salt with a tablespoon of oil or bath oil, then rub it into your feet with your hands or a bath sponge. Remove as much dead skin as possible before rinsing your feet thoroughly.
5. Soak in vinegar
Soaking in vinegar helps to soften and remove dead skin as well as repair cracked feet. Virtually any type of vinegar will do, and you probably already have apple cider vinegar or white vinegar in your kitchen. Use one part vinegar to two parts cold water and let your feet soak for 5 to 10 minutes. For extra flair, you can use a pumice stone to remove loose skin. After soaking, apply lotion to seal in moisture, then put on socks.
Similar to a pumice stone, a heel file or emery board is used to exfoliate and smooth the skin as well as remove calluses. First, soak the area of dry skin in warm water, then use a heel file until the skin softens and peels off. Once you’re done, rinse your feet, apply cream, and put on socks to keep the moisture in.
7. Wear the right footwear
Shoes that are too tight or ill-fitting are often the culprit of calluses. Make sure your shoes fit properly, especially running shoes, and check that there is at least an inch of space between your toes to prevent blisters and calluses. Wearing the same shoes every day can also cause foot problems, so rotate a few pairs regularly.
8. Stop rubbing
The easiest way to treat calluses is to prevent them in the first place. If you know where your feet are prone to chafing, such as along the toes, place moleskin there before putting your socks on to prevent your shoes from chafing there.
9. Use a pad with salicylic acid
For a low-effort fix, you can try a callus pad containing 40% salicylic acid. You can put one of these callus pads on your leg in the morning and leave it there all day. These work by breaking up and peeling off the many layers of the callus. To use a salicylic acid pad, soak your foot in warm water for five minutes or so, dry it thoroughly (if you leave your foot wet, you may have trouble getting the pad to stick) and apply the pad.
10. Try a heel file
A file or emery board works similar to a pumice stone in smoothing the skin and removing calluses. As with pumice stone, you start by soaking the affected area with warm water. Next, use a file or sandpaper until the skin starts to soften or turn red. Don’t forget to moisturize when you’re done. After applying the moisturizer, we recommend wearing gloves or socks to allow the moisturizer to penetrate the skin.
11. Protect your skin from chafing
One of the easiest ways to deal with calluses is to prevent friction so calluses don’t even have a chance to form. Anticipate problem areas and wear a piece of moleskin on them under your socks before giving your shoes a chance to rub and create a blister or callus. Bandaids are fine, but they don’t stick as soon as your foot sweats, and they can come off with a little rubbing of the shoe.
12. Make sure your shoes fit properly
Remember, we are not born with calluses – they develop over time as a result of our behavior and activities. The most meaningful way to deal with calluses permanently is to remove the cause. If you are buying running shoes, they should have about an inch of room from the longest toe.
Any smaller and your toes will hit the front of the shoe, any larger and your heel will lift up and rub against the back of the shoe, eventually causing a blistered callus. Shoes that are too narrow can also contribute to chafing and calluses. Another tip to prevent chafing is to rotate your shoes rather than wearing the same pair every day.
13. Try an electric callus remover
A quick online search will reveal a number of electric callus removers, so you definitely have options here.
14. Try BabyFoot
If not, Baby Foot is a gel-based foot scrub. Basically, you wash your feet, put on booties filled with exfoliating gel and leave them on for an hour before washing off. Then you wait for the peeling to begin – and when we say peeling, we’re not kidding.
This product can help remove dead skin, but be aware that you may not like the process. Just know that this product can be irritating and can make the skin on your feet itch like crazy. If you deal with excessive peeling, you’ll be able to say goodbye to calluses and say hello to baby-soft skin.
15. Draw a warm bath with apple cider vinegar
This simple DIY dip uses only three items you may already have at home – apple cider vinegar, bread, and plastic wrap or an elastic bandage. Basically, all you have to do is soak a slice of bread in apple cider vinegar for a few hours to make a paste out of it. You then apply the paste to the calluses, wrap in a bandage or plastic, and leave overnight for the magic to happen.
16. Refresh your feet with a luxurious pedicure
You go to a nail salon for a pedi and the women there always try to sell you a more expensive pedicure, right? Instead, going to the spa and opting for a high-end pedicure is something else entirely that you should consider! At the spa, your feet are treated as well as if you were getting a full body massage. The tools and treatments are much better compared to a pedicure at a nail salon.
Prevention For Dead Skin On Feet
While our experienced podiatrists can easily treat a callus, its development can also be prevented or slowed. Our top tips for prevention are:
- Avoid tight, hard and uncomfortable shoes that rub against your feet
- Reduce high pressure areas with special foot orthoses
- Keep your feet moist and prevent them from drying out
A Few More Helpful Tips For Dead Skin On Feet
- Follow proper foot hygiene, which includes regular cleaning of the feet, moisturizing and moisturizing with appropriate skin care oils.
- Avoid harmful soaps, creams, body washes and similar products
- Use warm water to exfoliate, clean and soak your feet
- Wear the right shoes and socks that fit your feet
- Don’t wear shoes or sandals all the time. Leave your legs free now and then
- Coconut oil is an excellent moisturizer that you can apply to your feet
- If your skin is sensitive, use a small amount of ingredients
- Do not use razor blades to remove dead skin from your feet
Should you cut off the dead skin on your feet?
You should not cut, pinch or forcefully pull any hard dead skin on your skin. Instead, you can use any of the above methods to help soften the skin and gently exfoliate the dead skin.
Is petroleum jelly good for feet?
Yes, anecdotal evidence suggests that applying petroleum jelly to dry, cracked feet and leaving it on overnight can help seal in the skin’s natural moisture while keeping it smooth and soft.
Is toothpaste good for feet?
Toothpaste with its fine abrasive particles can help enhance the exfoliating effects of a foot file or pumice stone.