Tried and Tested Methods of Dealing with Dead Skin on Feet

Don’t worry, you are not the only one. Dead skin on feet is more common than you may think. It is believed that up to 45% of women (perhaps even more) struggle with dry skin and calluses on their feet. That is why Baby Foot® has spent 25 years perfecting products that make skin removal easier, quicker and more accessible for mess-free use in the comfort of your own home. In this article, we will look at why you get dead skin on your feet, how to treat it, prevent it and what products to use. 

Why do I have dead skin on my feet?

When our skin cells age and dehydrates our bodies naturally shed them by moving them to the top of the skin layer. This happens all over our body. The reason our arms and legs do not develop calluses during this process is simply that we pay more attention to caring for this area of skin than we do for our feet. For example, scrubbing our arms and legs during bath routines and applying creams daily. Our arms and legs also do not encounter as much friction and pressure as our feet. 

Because we spend most of our day bustling around the office or shops and doing domestic work, our feet endure a great deal of pressure, friction and irritation. This pressure causes our skin cells to harden and form a protective layer to avoid further pain, damage, and discomfort. As a result, the dying skin cells that our feet are trying to shed, gather and harden. When this hardened layer dries out, it causes flaky and cracked heels and soles. 

Contributors to dead, dry, and flaking skin:

  1. Athlete’s Foot: (also known as tinea pedis) Athlete’s Foot is a fungal infection on the feet’s skin. Recognisable by the scaly, red rash found between toes and under the feet. 
  2. Medical Conditions: Skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis and diabetes all play a role in the lack of moisture and water in the skin. 
  3. Ill-fitting shoes: Wearing the wrong shoes for an activity or wrong-sized shoes cause additional irritation which the feet need to compensate for. 
  4. Standing for too long: Standing for hours on end put feet under great amounts of pressure.

How to deal with dead skin on feet?

So besides caring for any medical conditions, you may have and/or ensuring that your shoes fit correctly, how else can you look after your feet? More importantly, how do you remove dead skin cells that have built up? 

There are three key elements to the successful removal of dead skin and the maintenance of silky soft, supple skin. Moisturising, Hydrating (yes there is a difference) and Exfoliating. 

  1. Moisturising: Moisturisers have emollient and occlusive properties which create a barrier and helps keep moisture in the skin. They also contribute to softening skin. An example would be glycerin found in Shea Butter. 
  2. Hydration: Hydration involves adding water to the skin. While drinking 8 glasses a day will keep your body hydrated, you need the help of a humectant to draw water to the dry skin from the air and surrounding cells. Examples of humectants are glycerin and hyaluronic acid, both found in Shea Butter and Citrus Fruits. 
  3. Exfoliation: Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells. While there are products with exfoliating ingredients, like Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA’s), there are other ways to exfoliate the skin. Let’s take a look: 

The three main methods to remove dead skin on feet are: 

  1. Manual Exfoliation: This method uses foot files, a pumice stone, or a foot scrub to manually slough away dead skin. Foot scrubs are a gentler approach to manual exfoliation and often contain exfoliating ingredients to aid the process.

  • Method: When used regularly, a pumice stone can help keep dead skin from thickening. You would use it in or after a bath/shower when your feet have been soaked and the skin has softened. You will then use the pumice, file, or foot scrub to lift and rub away the dead skin cells. 
  • Pro’s: Quick removal of the dead skin layer. 
  • Con’s: An abrasive approach which can result in further damage to the skin layer. This method also does not work with the natural process of shedding skin.

 

  1. Skin Softeners: Skin softeners are products and treatments that go to work on the hardened cells, breaking them down and softening them. Key ingredients to look for in foot creams are Salicylic Acid and Urea. Each contributing to the removal of dead skin cells. Most skin softening creams will also include AHA’s to aid exfoliation.

  • Method: Foot creams work best when used regularly. After washing your feet, you can apply a foot cream, being sure to massage it in to achieve optimal absorption. You can boost absorption and hydration by applying the cream at bedtime. Put on a pair of socks and let the cream go to work overnight. 
  • Pro’s: Gently calms irritation, moisturises and hydrates the skin.
  • Con’s: More of a maintenance approach to dry, cracked feet. Takes longer to remove the thick layer of stubborn skin. 
  • The Baby Foot® Solution: Baby Foot® Extra Rich Moisturising Foot Cream contains natural humectants that deeply moisturise and hydrate feet. Enriched with Shea Butter and added Vitamin E, Olive Oil and Elderberry, our foot cream helps to preserve skin elasticity, calm irritated skin, and also conditions skin, keeping it soft and supple.

 

  1. (Natural) Chemical Exfoliation: This approach involves the use of skincare products which are specifically designed to remove dead skin cells with the aid of exfoliants. They include natural ingredients like citric acid, lactic acid, and salicylic acid. The product is usually contained in a bootie, which is applied to the feet. The product goes to work at a cellular level with Alpha Hydroxyl Acids which loosen the bonds between dead skin cells, allowing the body to release them naturally. 

  • Method: Place the booties on clean, dry feet. To get the most out of the treatment you can rub the gel inside the bootie around the areas of the feet needing the most attention, but ensure the gel covers the foot. After the designated time (such as 60 to 90 minutes), you can rinse the product off your feet. Within 14 days your skin will start to naturally shed the loosened skin layer. Leaving it silky soft and smooth. 
  • Pro’s: Product goes to work behind the scenes, at a cellular level. Natural ingredients naturally removing dead skin cells. Hassle and mess-free. The most effective solution to dead skin removal. Only needed every few weeks. 
  • Con’s: You will need to have some patience for the exfoliation process to work. The results, however, make the wait worthwhile. 
  • The Baby Foot® Solution: The Original Baby Foot® Exfoliating Foot Peel is an all-natural foot care product that has it all. Designed to be used in the comfort of your own home, our foot peel combines 17 natural ingredients with humectants, emollient and exfoliating properties. A combination of ingredients like AHA’s and Salicylic Acid actively work to remove dead skin cells, treat skin irritation and to moisturise. Added anti-bacterial (fighting foot odour), anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties help with the treatment of skin conditions like tinea pedis, eczema and psoriasis. 

To view our full range of easy-to-use products please take a look at our products page.