Dry hard skin on your feet? Here’s how to nix it for good.

Dry skin on feet are an issue for many of us at the best of times. In fact, according to a recent survey by the College of Podiatry, 45% of women suffer from painful cracked heels, with 10% saying ‘no thanks’ to open-heeled shoes as a direct result. Not exactly ideal now that open toe season is upon us, .

‘Women from all over the world come to my clinic to help with their hard, dry feet,’ celebrity podiatrist, Margaret Dabbs, tells WH. ‘It’s extremely common, but it’s also very easy to cure. You just need to work out the best option for you.’

While heading to the salon for a pedicure is a good shout, in this instance, know that at-home treatments can still work a charm. Not sure where to start? Let’s dig into how to remove dead skin on your feet.

What causes hard, dry skin on your feet?

There are many reasons why you build up hard dry skin on your feet. During the winter and spring months, when the weather is colder and our feet are often hidden away, hard skin is more likely to develop – simply down to the lack of care they’re getting. Which means by the time summer rolls around, you’ve got a real job on your hands.

Then there’s all that pavement pummelling that could cause dry skin to accumulate on your soles, in order to protect your feet against blistering. Dry skin can build up from walking but even more so if you’re exercising a lot and doing lots of running.

Your ethnicity might even come into play https://pa-tanjungpati.net/. Studies have found that Black skin has lower ceramide levels than Caucasian and Asian skin types, predisposing people with darker skin to drier skin and in turn: hard, cracked heels.

What are the different kinds of hard skin on feet?

1/ Calluses: There are different types of dry, dead skin that might be causing your crusty feet. Calluses are when hard skin forms over a dry area to prevent further injury – which is why they’re so common in runners. The skin on your big toe can also become hard and dry.

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2/ Corns: These are smaller than calluses and often found on the toes – especially the little toe. They’re often formed from friction, and can be common if you regularly wear high heels.

Calluses and corns are generally not harmful, but if they become extremely dry and cracked they can bleed and become painful, leading to bacterial infections.

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What does it mean if you have extremely dry skin on your feet?

If you’re concerned with the amount and degree of hard skin on your feet or if the skin on your big toe is hard and dry, you should see a professional or consult with your GP. In some cases, hard skin cannot be removed using at-home techniques, so you may need help from a podiatrist (a foot doctor).

Unless your feet are causing you so much pain that you are unable to walk, it is rare to for patients to have to see podiatrists through the NHS.

Good news is, appointments aren’t as expensive as you might think. You can find out more information on the NHS website and find your local podiatrist here.

An underlying skin condition like athletes foot, psoriasis or atopic dermatitis could be causing your hard dry feet – so if you’re concerned, it’s always best to get checked out.

There are also measures you can take for getting rid of hard skin on feet, preventing dry feet skin and ailing cracked heels. ‘Quite often, the wrong footwear can cause rubbing, which promotes a formation of hard skin to protect the delicate skin underneath’, says Dabbs.

Choosing footwear that fits properly is key to preventing hard skin on your feet and if you get calluses on the balls of your feet, try to avoid leather and rubber soles, which cause more friction. Gel soles or inner soles will give your feet the support they need in the right places.

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Why is it important to remove hard skin from your feet?

If left untreated the build-up of hard skin on your feet and big toe can mean that skin is less able to stretch, which in turn reduces its sensitivity over time. This can lead to dryness, swelling and cracks.

Best at-home remedy for dry cracked feet

If you’re in a rush to deal with dead skin on your feet then it’s a good idea to try a home made foot scrub.

Simply take two tablespoons of sea salt and mix it with a few tablespoons of olive oil or coconut oil. If possible, also add a few drops of tea tree oil. Then rub the mixture into your feet before taking two plastic bags and tying them around your ankles. This help to nourish and hydrate your feet and will help to remove dry skin.

How to remove thick dead skin from feet

1.The best foot file for hard skin removal

‘Always start treatments when your feet are dry. This is a new concept to most people, but, when you consider the reasons why, it makes perfect sense – wet skin masks the areas that need treating, meaning that you can’t see the callus of dry skin areas as well,’ says Dabbs.

When foot filing, file areas of thickened or calloused skin towards the mid-line of your foot once a week.

Beauty Editor Perdita Nouril can’t get enough of the Margaret Dabbs Foot File. ‘This product is truly a game changer and helps keep my feet soft and smooth all summer long.’

Margaret Dabbs London Professional Foot File

2. The best treatments for hard skin on your feet

After you exfoliate your feet, rinse clean, then dry and apply a thick layer of foot cream. ‘You wouldn’t consider exfoliating the face without following with a moisturiser, and the same applies with the feet’, says Dabbs.

(Pro tip: we love the combination of filing our feet, applying a scrub and then layering on a cream or mask.)

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3. The best scrub for hard skin on your feet

Neal’s Yard have a dreamy foot smoother scrub, which is incredible in the winter on really sore, tired and cracked feet. It reacts with water to create a warm, soothing effect, so make sure you apply to wet skin.

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4. The best cream for dry, cracked skin

This unique formula is enriched with natural skin compound urea, to instantly hydrate dry, cracked skin and remove dead skin cells for a smoother texture.

eucerin Eucerin Dry Skin Intensive Foot Cream, Urea 100ml

5. The best lotion for dry, cracked feet

A luxurious rich, creamy lotion, this comes with the scent of lemon myrtle. The result? Feet that smell so fresh, you’ll want to walk bare-feet everywhere.

Margaret Dabbs London Intensive Hydrating Foot Lotion, 200ml

6. The best balm for dry, cracked feet

This contains 25% urea – one of the most effective ingredients at softening hard, dry feet and retaining moisture within the epidermis. Apply once or twice daily to soften the hard skin on your heels and promote the growth of healthy skin beneath.

Naturally, over two weeks you’ll shed the dead skin.

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7. The best salts for hard skin on feet

Still a fan of a soak? Then make sure you use infuse one with some Epsom salts, as they have anti-fungal and anti-microbial properties, which is ideal for keeping cracked heels clean. Bathing in these will soften the area, so you can exfoliate away with a pumice stone afterwards.

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8. The best electric hard skin remover for feet

This clever little gadget has been designed to work on both wet and dry feet, so you can use it after a foot soak or give your feet a quick once over before heading to your Barrecore class. It also comes with two speeds, so if your feet are a bit sensitive, you can dial it down a notch.

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9. The best peel for hard skin on your feet

Never tried a foot peel mask before? Prepare to be dazzled by the onslaught of shedding. This treatment itself doesn’t take very long, as you simply slip the plastic socks on to clean feet and wait 60mins – but the effects take anywhere between 7 and 10 days to really come through.

Therefore, this treatment is definitely not one to do the night before you’re set to wear open-toe shoes. After your feet have stopped shedding skin, the result is baby soft, from your heels to your toes.

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10. The best foot file if you have sensitive feet

Foot filing is a great way rid your feet of dead skin. Don’t be fooled by its odd shape, the ergonomically-designed tool helps you to effortlessly exfoliate rough soles, leaving skin silky smooth.

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11. The best pumice stone for hard, dry skin on your feet

This pumice stone comes with a useful grip on the side so that you can buff away dead skin without the worry of the stone slipping. Plus, it’s a total bargain.

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