Tips to Remove Dead Skin from Your Feet

Dead or loose skin forming on the feet is a result of naturally exfoliating and shedding dead skin cells in your foot.

Updated: December 12, 2018

Dead or loose skin forming on the feet is a result of naturally exfoliating and shedding dead skin cells in your foot.
Dead skin can build up because of a lack of moisture. This can happen if your feet are constantly in closed shoes or socks, or from the friction of walking or running. It can be prevented if you regularly care for, exfoliate, or scrub your feet. Dead skin on the bottom of your foot may appear dry, cracked, or loose or hanging. It is usually not painful. However pain may occur if it is a result of athlete's foot, eczema, or another type of infection. In that case visit your doctor for treatment.
Here are some options for removing dead skin.

Pumice stone to Remove Dead Skin from Your Feet:

A pumice stone is a natural lava stone that can help remove dead skin and callouses from your feet.
Soak your feet in warm water for 10 minutes to soften them. Dip the pumice stone in warm water and gently move the stone in a circular or sideways motion around your foot to remove dead skin. Focus on removing the top layer of the skin and not the entire area of dead skin, which will help promote healthy cell turnover. Apply some moisturizing lotion or oil afterward to help soften your feet. Never use a pumice stone on injured or sore areas.

Paraffin wax to Remove Dead Skin from Your Feet:

Paraffin wax is a soft wax that is melted at a medium temperature of around 125°F or 51°C. Make sure the wax shouldn't be hot enough to prevent burn or irritation of your skin. You can melt the wax in a sauce pan and then transfer it to a bowl for dipping your feet. You can also do a paraffin wax treatment at home using an at-home paraffin wax bath.
Dip your feet in the wax several times to apply several layers of wax to your feet during a paraffin wax treatment. Wrap your feet in plastic after that. You can remove the wax after the wax hardens. Any dead skin on your feet will be removed along with the wax. Your feet should feel soft afterward.
Be very cautious and monitor the temperature of the wax with a candy thermometer, if you use paraffin wax at home.

Do not use paraffin wax if:

  • you have poor blood circulation
  • you have a rash or open sore on your feet
  • you have lost feeling in your feet, such as from diabetic neuropathy

Foot scrub to Remove Dead Skin from Your Feet:

Choose a foot scrub from over the counter with granules that will help scrub away dead skin. You can also make your own scrub by diluting two tablespoons of sea salt into equal amounts of baby oil and lemon juice. Apply the scrub directly to your foot and rub gently with your palm. You can also use a foot scrub brush or sponge to remove dead skin. After scrubbing properly rinse scrub thoroughly with warm water.

Oatmeal scrub to Remove Dead Skin from Your Feet:

Oatmeal scrub is an excellent home made exfoliator to remove dead skin. Mix equal amount of oatmeal with rose water or milk to make a paste. Apply the paste to your feet and leave it for 20 to 30 minutes. Use a foot brush to exfoliate your feet. Rinse with cold water and let your feet dry. Apply a foot cream to moisturize it.
Repeat this process every other day for best results.

Epsom salt soak or scrub to Remove Dead Skin from Your Feet:

Epsom salt is a crystal form of magnesium sulfate which can help exfoliate and smooth dry, cracked feet. You can soak your feet in Epsom salt that is dissolved in water to remove dead skin.
You can prepare an Epsom salt soak by pouring half cup of salt into a footbath or a full cup into a bathtub full of warm water. Relax and soak for up to 20 minutes. You may use a pumice stone or foot brush after to help remove dry skin.
Mix a handful of Epsom salt with a tablespoon of bath or olive oil in your hand or on a bath sponge to prepare an Epsom salt scrub for your feet, in the shower or bath.
Rub gently over wet skin to exfoliate, soften, and remove dead skin before rinsing off with water. Apply a foot cream to moisturize it.

Vinegar soak to Remove Dead Skin from Your Feet:

Although you can use almost any type of vinegar, Apple cider vinegar or white vinegar are popular options for this treatment. As hot water may dry out the skin more, use cool water for the soak. Mix one part of vinegar to two part of water and soak your feet for 5 to 10 minutes in that mixture. Remove dry or loose skin using a pumice stone before rinsing off with water. Apply moisturizer, petroleum jelly, or coconut oil before putting on socks to seal in moisture after doing a vinegar soak.
Only do this treatment a few times a week as it can be further drying on the skin.

Baby foot peel to Remove Dead Skin from Your Feet:

It is provided with plastic booties that you can stick to your feet for up to one hour with the help of adhesive tape. They contain a gel solution of fruit acid and other moisturizers that may help remove dead skin from your feet.
Secure the plastic booties to your feet with adhesive tape after wetting your feet.
Leave the booties on for up to one hour and then remove it. Wash your feet gently with soap and water. You will need to wet your feet daily for peeling up to next three to seven days.

Baking soda soak to Remove Dead Skin from Your Feet:

Mix 2 to 3 tablespoons of baking soda in a full footbath of warm water.
After your soak for 10 to 20 minutes, gently use a pumice stone or foot brush to remove dead skin. Apply plenty of moisturizer after to prevent dryness. Baking soda can be irritating, cause redness, and dry out the skin further and hence it may disrupt the natural pH balance of your skin. Therefore it must be used in caution. Don't use baking soda on your feet if you have any skin sensitivities or allergies.
If you experience any redness or irritation while soaking your feet, immediately remove them from the solution.

Lemon water soak to Remove Dead Skin from Your Feet:

The acidity in lemon may help remove dead skin cells from your feet. Mix 2 to 3 tablespoons of lemon juice in a full footbath of warm water. You can also leave pieces of lemon peel in the water. After your soak for 10 to 20 minutes, gently use a pumice stone or foot brush to remove dead skin. Apply plenty of moisturizer after to prevent dryness.
Unlike baking soda, using lemon on your feet may interfere with the natural pH balance of your skin and lead to more dryness and dead skin.
Therefore it should be used with caution. Avoid lemon if you:
  • have any cuts or open sores on your foot
  • have sensitive skin
  • experience any redness and irritation

Razor or scraper to Remove Dead Skin from Your Feet:

These can only be used by a podiatrist or other trained medical professional to remove a callous or dead skin from your foot. Do not use razors or scrapers on your feet at home, as these could cause damage to your foot or create another medical issue. You may develop a bacterial infection if you accidentally cut your feet.

Prevention of dry skin on the feet:

  • The best way to prevent dead skin from forming on your feet is to moisturize regularly.
  • Use a recommended therapeutic oils, ointments, or creams to help prevent your skin from drying out.
  • Avoid lotions that contain alcohol, which may dry out your feet more. Usually baby oil or petroleum jelly are safe to use.
  • Soak your feet a few times a week and use a pumice stone or foot brush to gently exfoliate off dead skin.
  • Avoid hot showers or baths, and rinse in warm water to prevent skin from drying.
Try these tips at home to remove dead skin from your feet. But if you have an excessive amount of dead skin, callouses, cracked skin, wounds, or rashes that don't go away on their own or with these treatments, then it is advisable to see your doctor or podiatrist.  

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