Dead or loose skin on your feet is your feet’s natural way of exfoliating and shedding dead skin cells.
If your feet are constantly wearing closed shoes and socks, dead skin can accumulate due to lack of moisture or friction from walking or running. It also happens if you don’t regularly take care of your feet, exfoliate and rub them.
The dead skin on the bottom of your feet can look dry, cracked, loose, or sagging. It’s usually painless, unless it’s a foot, eczema, or other type of infection.
If you suspect this has happened, see your doctor. Otherwise, you may want to remove the dead skin for cosmetic reasons or simply because it’s more comfortable.
Here are some options for removing dead skin.
- Lung stones
Pumice stone is a natural lava stone that helps remove dead skin and blemishes from your feet.
Soak the pumice stone in warm water. You can also soak your feet in warm water for 10 minutes to soften them.
Gently move the stone in a circular or side-to-side motion around your feet to remove dead skin. Focus on removing the top layer of dead skin, not the entire area, as this will promote healthy cell turnover.
Then apply lotion or cream to soften your feet.
Never use pumice stone on an injured or sore area.
- Paraffin wax
Many nail salons offer paraffin wax as an adjunct to pedicure treatments.
Paraffin wax is a soft wax that melts at a moderate temperature of about 125°F (51°C). The wax should not be hot enough to burn or irritate your skin.
You can also do a paraffin wax treatment at home using a paraffin bath, or you can melt the wax in a pan and then transfer it to a bowl to dip your feet in.
During the paraffin wax treatment, you will dip your feet in the wax several times. After applying several layers of wax, wrap the leg in plastic.
After the wax hardens, you can remove the wax. Remove dead skin from your feet with wax. Your feet should be soft afterwards.
Do not use paraffin wax in the following cases.
you have poor circulation
you have a rash or open sore on your leg
Loss of feeling in the legs, like diabetic neuropathy
If you use paraffin wax at home, be very careful and monitor the temperature of the wax with a candy thermometer.
- Foot scrub
Most pharmacies and drugstores sell a variety of foot scrubs over the counter. Look for one with granules to help slough off dead skin.
Or you can make your own by diluting two tablespoons of sea salt with equal amounts of baby oil and lemon juice.
To use a foot scrub, apply the scrub directly to your feet and rub gently with your palms. Alternatively, use a foot scrub brush or sponge to remove dead skin.
After using the scrub, rinse thoroughly with warm water.
- Oatmeal scrub
You can make a homemade scrub with oatmeal to remove dead skin.
To make a scrub, mix equal parts of oatmeal with rose water or milk to form a paste. Use:
Apply the scrub on your feet and leave it for 20-30 minutes.
Exfoliate your feet using a foot brush.
Rinse with cold water and pat dry.
Apply foot cream.
Do this treatment daily for best results.
- Soak or scrub with Epsom salts
Epsom salt is a crystalline form of magnesium sulfate. Magnesium sulfate is a mineral.
You can soak your feet in Epsom salt dissolved in water. It helps to exfoliate and smooth dry and chapped feet. This in turn helps to remove dead skin.
Add 1/2 cup of salt to a foot bath or a full cup of Epsom salt in a warm bath.
Relax and leave for up to 20 minutes.
A pumice stone or foot brush can be used to remove dry skin.
Mix a few Epsom salts with a tablespoon of bath or olive oil on your hands or on a bath sponge to create an Epsom salt scrub for your feet in the shower or bath.
Gently rub into wet skin to exfoliate, soften, and rinse off dead skin with water.
- Absorb vinegar
Soaking in vinegar helps soften feet and remove dead, dry, cracked skin.
You can use almost any type of vinegar. Apple cider vinegar or white vinegar are popular choices and you may already have them in your kitchen.
Hot water can dry out the skin more, so use cold water when soaking. As a general guideline, use 1 part vinegar to 2 parts water. To start, soak the feet for 5-10 minutes.
If desired, use a pumice stone to remove dry or loose skin as directed above. After soaking in the vinegar, apply moisturizer, petroleum jelly, or coconut oil before putting on the socks.
Do this treatment only a few times a week as it will dry out the skin further.