14 Oct Tips on Caring for Rough Skin on Heels
5 Tips for Soft, Smooth Heels
Your feet do a lot for you. If you’ve been neglecting them, they might be looking rough and dry, with cracked heels and thick calluses. Here are some tips for getting your heels smooth and soft.
Rough Stuff: Calluses and Corns
Your feet do their best to protect you. Sometimes, that protection results in a layer of thick, dead skin called a callus.
How Your Feet Get Callused
Calluses are a natural part of your feet. We all have them to some degree. What causes them?
Exerting pressure on any part of your skin will cause the skin to develop thick layers of dead cells as a protective mechanism. That’s why people who work with their hands develop calluses on their palms or fingertips. Athletes can develop calluses on their feet, fingers or toes.
How to Get Soft, Smooth Skin on Your Heels
Some people develop thin, soft calluses that are easy to remove. Others develop thick, hard layers that are several inches thick. Whatever you’re dealing with, follow these tips to reveal soft, silky skin on your heels.
1. Exfoliate Regularly
The first step is using a hard, abrasive remover to get rid of the dead skin. Pumice stones are a classic solution to rough, dry skin. You can also buy specialty tools that use a similarly rough, hard surface to peel away the dead skin.
If you use a pumice stone or other tool, be sure to use it several times a week. Calluses and rough skin build up quickly. You’ll need to keep them at bay with regular attention.
2. Soak Calluses to Soften Them
If you have particularly thick, stubborn calluses, get a head start on removing them by soaking them. Soaking them in warm, soapy water will leave calluses soft. You’ll start to see them coming loose when you lift your feet out of the water.
You can add bath salts or specialty salts designed to help soften skin. For the best results, use an exfoliating scrub on your heels while they’re soaking. Use the pumice while your feet are still damp.
3. Overnight Sensation
One of the best ways to get softer, smoother skin is to give your heels a full night of indulgent care. You need a pair of form-fitting socks and a thick, heavy moisturizer. Petroleum jelly and body butter are good choices for this.
To use this method, slather your feet in the petroleum jelly or body butter, slip on the socks and go to sleep. You’ll wake up to feet that feel amazing.
4. Try Salicylic Acid
Salicylic acid is a good choice for thick, stubborn calluses that are hard to remove. Salicylic acid is the main ingredient in aspirin. It breaks down thick, dead skin cells.
Salicylic acid is found in over-the-counter foot care products like Dr. Scholl’s Callus Patches and Pedifix Callus Control Cream.
These products work, but use them with caution. Salicylic acid can cause severe skin injury if you leave it on too long or use it on the skin that isn’t callused. If you have any concerns, ask a podiatrist to prescribe and apply prescription-strength salicylic acid treatments.
5. Get Calluses Professionally Removed
Some people develop calluses that just won’t budge. The calluses cover their heels in a thick, impenetrable and ugly layer. In that situation, professional callus removal by a podiatrist is the best option.
In a simple, safe procedure, your podiatrist can cut through those layers to leave your feet looking and feeling soft, callus-free and beautiful.
Heal Your Heels at Shuman Podiatry
At Shuman Podiatry & Sports Medicine located in Sterling VA, we can keep your feet looking and feeling their best. If you’re having trouble with calluses or corns, give us a call. We’ll help you put an end to rough, dry heels.