Your feet help you travel the world. They help you walk, run, jump, dance and express yourself in any way possible. Athletes and dancers have to take special care in order for their feet to remain flawlessly beautiful and function without any underlying health issues. But all these expressive actions can take a toll on the skin of your feet and can damage it immensely. This damage can result in hard skin on the feet.
What is Hard Skin on feet?
When your feet are in action and are in motion or doing any sort of work, it is likely that a sort of friction occurs on the skin of your feet with any kind of shoes or surface. This friction might damage your feet and to prevent from this wear and tear your skin might put up a barrier of dead skin cells in the dermal layer to protect it from getting hurt. This barrier in time turns into a hard skin like texture on your feet, the upper layer of it appears to be waxy and is hard to touch. During winter, however, this hard skin can get especially dry and your feet can form painful cracks and blisters.
Corns and Calluses
The hard skin on feet can sometimes be regarded as calluses. They are pale-ish yellow in colour. The swelled up and hardened skin may be less sensitive and less likely to form painful blisters.
Corns on the other hand are yellowish bumps made up of accumulated dead skin cells and can be found in hairless regions of foot and also in bony areas. Corns tend to be both softer and harder. The harder ones function a bit like calluses and are not really painful and insensitive. The softer ones are whitish and rubbery and can be formed in sweaty areas like between the toes.
If not treated properly, these corns and calluses can lead to harmful infections and ulcers that can harm the body of any person. You should always get a certified doctor to check if you show any signs or symptoms of calluses or corns or hardened skin occurring in your feet.
These hard skins on feet can go away naturally with a little bit of your time and care. But if it comes to the point where these calluses cannot be removed using natural processes, a podiatrist can use and scalpel and cut off the hard skin from your feet. Cutting away the skin can release the pressure build up beneath the skin in the tissues. You should not do this on your own and must definitely seek professional help if you have attempted this.
People suffering from bunions, hammertoe, athlete’s foot and other foot related issues have a high chance of corn and callus development on foot.
Here are some methods you can try to remove those Hard Skins on your feet naturally:-
Pumice Stone Treatment
Pumice stone is formed when hot molten lava is mixed with cold water. This coarse stone is perfect for removing dead skin cells on your feet. Pumice stone was said to be used throughout the ages and exfoliating your skin was also in fashion during ancient times. Pedicure has also been a craze since ages and pumice stone pedicure is a very popular treatment in any nail salon. But make sure to scrub the appropriate amount in order to not harm your skin.
Steps to Follow:-
- Soak your feet in lukewarm water to absorb the moisture and make your feet softer. You should soak for about ten to twenty minutes in the warm water. You can also add a few drops of your favorite soap gel or essential oil for the fragrance or cleanliness.
- After soaking your feet for a while, take the pumice stone and wet it with some water. Then start scrubbing away the hard skin and dead skin cells. Scrub and rinse your feet three times and then rinse your feet one final time and pat them dry with a towel. Make sure to not over scrub. The scrubbing should be gentle and in circular motions to massage the blood vessels inside your feet.
- After drying your feet, apply a thick layer of moisturizer to coat the skin.
- Make sure to wash the pumice stone and let it dry before using it again. Unwashed stone can breed bacteria in it and applying it to your feet can cause infection.
- You can repeat this process five times a week and once you feel like the stone is not abrasive anymore you can quickly replace it with a newer one as the pumice stone erodes away every use.
- Make sure to avoid scrubbing if your feet have cracks and cuts and also if they are sensitive to exfoliation.
Paraffin Wax Treatment
Saturated hydrocarbons form paraffin wax which is also a must try item in every pedicure salon. This wax is melted in 50 degree Celsius and is used to remove dead skin cells from feet, open pores and increase blood circulation.
This therapeutic item is a must have in every self-care loving household. If you are suffering from diabetes or numbness in feet or if you are allergic to petroleum products, stay clear from this. Consult your doctor if you get any burning or rash applying this wax. It is best to apply it in a small batch to test out your skin’s sensitivity and check for allergies beforehand.
Steps to Follow:-
In a double boiler add about four cups of wax beads and a cup of mineral oil. Once the wax melts, mix it up very well.
Apply a bit of mineral oil onto your feet first before dipping it in wax.
- Dip your feet in wax for about ten times to get a thick coat of wax on it.
- Cover your feet up in plastic wrap and let the wax settle.
- When the Wax is completely dry, start peeling it off.
- After you finish peeling, apply a coat of moisturizer to your feet and keep it hydrated.
- You can try this method twice a month.
- It can also work for health issues like arthritis. So make sure to take proper care while using this treatment.
Home Made Foot Scrubs
This method is also one of the easiest and can be done with items from your own kitchen. But be cautious as to check before applying any of the items listed in the recipes and if any complication arises, make sure to consult your Doctor.
Oatmeal Foot Scrub
- Rose water
- Mix one cup of semi powdered oatmeal and one cup of rose water. You can also use milk instead of the rose water.
- Apply the mixture onto your feet and leave it on for about twenty minutes.
- Use a foot exfoliating brush to scrub away the dead skin on your feet.
- Wash your feet with cold water.
- Apply a moisturizing foot cream afterwards.
Epsom Salt Foot Scrub
- Epsom Salt
- Warm water
- Pour half a cup of the salt into warm or lukewarm water and mix until all the salt is dissolved.
- Dip your feet in and let them soak the salt water for about twenty five minutes.
- Scrub away the dead skins with a pumice stone scrubber.
- Wash your feet with chilled water and dry them immediately with a towel.
- Apply a moisturizing foot cream afterwards.
Vinegar Foot Soak
Rich in stuff called polyphenolic anti-oxidants, Vinegar is used for a lot of skin related issues. It can treat dry skin and can also help with eczema. It also helps improve skin’s barrier and makes it more protective. It also is rich in anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, making your skin smooth and softer with every use.
In a foot bath, add two cups of cold water and one cup of apple cider vinegar. Dip your feet in and soak up the goodness for about ten to fifteen minutes. Then take a pumice stone and scrub away the dead skin debris and wash off with cold water. Pat your feet dry and apply a good moisturizing foot cream. You try this treatment two to three times a week for better results. Make sure to check if you are allergic to apple cider vinegar beforehand.
But as the saying goes, prevention is often better than cure, here are some ways you can prevent your feet from developing hard skin, corns, calluses and dry skin:-
Try to wash your feet with water and a nondrying soap every night before sleeping, washing can prevent infections.
Try to apply a thick layer of feet special moisturizer and wear a non-absorbing sock to cover your feet so that the moisturizing cream does not transfer to your bed sheets.
Always try to wear well fitted shoes and socks so that friction is less likely to occur.
There is a speculation that the legs swell a little during the day and you should always shop for shoes during day when your feet are the largest to fit the perfect size.
Like athletes and dancers take care of their feet, you should also take proper care of your own foot if any little pain or complication arises immediately to stop the problem before it spreads further.
Make sure to get an appointment from a certified podiatrist and check up with them from time to time for better knowledge on how to take care of your skin and treat hard skin on feet.
Make it a habit of using pumice stone for regularized foot scrubbing. Buy a new one immediately if the previous one erodes.
Always wear clean socks and apply a layer of talcum powder on your foot during the day to prevent from sweat.
If corns and calluses are occurring due to a shoe, change it immediately into a more comfortable one.
Your feet are precious and you must take good care of them for them to be free from any kind of complications. And if you give it just a little time each day for proper maintenance, then they can be clean and soft always every day.