How to Get Rid of Dead Skin on Feet – 15 Remedies for Hard Skin on Feet

Disclaimer: Results are not guaranteed*** and may vary from person to person***.

Get Rid of Dead Skin on Feet
Credit: iStock.com/Suze777

Rough, dry, or hard skin on feet can be unpleasant for both tactile and visual senses. This coarse surface is likely due to dehydration and accumulated layers of dead skin on feet. A soft, well-moisturized foot is a sign of overall good health, and fortunately for you, there are various tips on how to get rid of dead skin on feet.

It is very important to take good care of your feet before the dead skin leads to other problems like itching, pain, cracks, and an unpleasant burning sensation.

We will examine the common symptoms and infections, disorders, and other environmental causes of dead skin on feet. We’ll also look at how to remove dead skin or soften and exfoliate feet skin, and how to get rid of hard skin on feet quick with many natural home remedies and recipes.

Why Do I Have a Lot of Dead Skin on My Feet?

What causes dead skin buildup on feet? Peeling skin on the feet or between your toes is often nothing to worry about. After all, your skin goes through a natural exfoliation process from dead skin cells. That being said, if you don’t get regular pedicures and your feet are always in shoes and socks, dead skin will build up on the feet. And eventually, it looks flaky.

Constantly putting pressure on your feet and standing for long hours also causes dead skin on feet. Wearing improper footwear like high heels or itching clothing like wool, as well being overweight can also lead to more dead skin on feet.

There are a variety of other instances where the dead skin will not go away on its own. The following are some of the most common causes of dead skin on your feet:

  • Athlete’s foot: Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection of the feet or toes, where the fungi feed on proteins of the skin called keratin. As a result, there will be peeling, dryness, and scaling of the skin on the soles of the feet. There may also be itchiness and a smelly odor.
  • Lack of moisture: When there is severely dry skin on the toes and feet, this can eventually lead to flaking and peeling. Dry air and extreme temperatures can also worsen the problem.
  • Long, hot showers or baths: Prolonged exposure to hot water is known to affect the natural, protective oils of the skin. Lukewarm showers are better than hot water.
  • Harsh soaps: Some harsh soaps contain chemicals that strip away protective oils of the skin, and as a result, there is more dead skin.
  • Medications: Dry skin is a side effect of certain medications, such as diuretics, high blood pressure drugs, and skin medications.
  • Skin conditions: Various skin conditions will cause itchy, dry, and dead skin, including eczema, psoriasis, and sunburns.
  • Hypothyroidism: Hypothyroidism is also called a low thyroid or underactive thyroid. A common symptom of this condition is dry and rough skin.
  • Diabetes: Poorly controlled blood sugar levels can lead to dehydration, which, in turn, leads to dry skin. It is very important for diabetics to keep their skin healthy, since having diabetes can increase the risk of infections.
  • Malnutrition: Malnutrition, or not getting all the necessary nutrients, can lead your skin to become too dry. Possible causes of malnutrition include digestive disorders or eating disorders.

Symptoms of Dead Skin on Feet

Dead skin on feet is often a symptom of an underlying condition or problem. As a result, you are likely to experience symptoms other than dry skin. You may also find that the problem worsens during the winter months. The following are a number of other symptoms you may discover:

  • Itchy skin and burning around the toes
  • Rash
  • Swelling and thickening of the skin
  • Heat and pain
  • Torn, flaky, or cracked skin
  • White color of the skin, or redness around the toes
  • Rough skin
  • Flaky skin
  • Peeling skin
  • Stinky smell to the feet

How Do I Soften the Skin on My Feet?

Do you want to know how to remove thick, dead skin from feet? There are a number of ways that can soften the skin on your feet and improve their overall condition. Try the following step-by-step natural method for better foot care:

Soak

A nourishing and softening soak of the feet with warm water, Epsom salts, and moisturizing oil like jojoba oil is a good soak recipe. Soak your feet for five to 10 minutes.

Exfoliate

The next step is to exfoliate feet. You can use a pumice stone on your heels, but be careful not to rub too hard.

Moisturize

After you rinse and dry your feet, it is time to moisturize. Try to use coconut oil to help penetrate the skin quickly.

Treat

 The skin also needs treatment after moisturizing. Natural oils like safflower oil, olive oil, jojoba oil, and tea tree oil can also help improve the quality of the skin.

Comfort Overnight

For fast results on softening feet, it is best to treat them overnight with one of the moisturizers; then, wear soft, cotton socks to bed. This helps lock the moisture in for hours, and you’ll wake up with smooth and soft skin.

Weaken Calluses

For foot calluses, remember to exfoliate with the pumice stone after soaking your feet. You can also treat calluses by soaking them with white vinegar, or treat them with a foot buffer or emery board.

Safeguard

Maintenance is also important for foot health. Depending on how dry your feet get, be sure to soak your feet twice weekly. Also, moisturize nightly and wear your cotton socks once to twice each week after you moisturize.

Home Remedies to Remove Dead and Hard Skin on Feet

How do you remove dead skin from feet at home? Home remedies are a great way to maintain proper foot hygiene. This will help protect your feet from cracks or flaking while also preventing against a fungal or bacterial infection. The following remedies will help treat dead or hard skin on feet.

1. Warm Water

Warm water can help relax the feet, especially if they are soaked in the evening. This will loosen up dead skin cells that would cause the feet to become dry.

Ingredients:

Warm water

Directions:

  • Fill a basin or bucket with warm water.
  • Place your feet inside the bucket or basin for around 20 minutes.
  • Use a scrub to remove dead skin cells.
  • Dry your feet thoroughly after the scrub.
  • Moisturize your feet with jojoba oil or coconut oil.

2. Homemade Scrub

Once you clean and dry your feet, you can apply a homemade antifungal powder foot scrub that is great for removing dead skin and for dry and stinky feet.

Ingredients:

  • 1 to 1 1/2 tbsp bentonite clay
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne powder
  • 2 drops cinnamon essential oil
  • 2 drops clove essential oil
  • 2 drops frankincense essential oil
  • A glass shaker bottle or glass jar

Directions:

  • In a small bowl, combine cayenne powder and bentonite clay. Add the essential oils and blend well. Place the scrub into your jar or bottle.
  • Sprinkle the powder on your feet. Apply it twice daily for up to two weeks. You can also sleep with it when wearing socks to prevent it from soiling your bed sheets.

3. Paraffin Wax Foot Wrap

Paraffin wax is a good way to soften and retain moisture in the skin while also lessening the accumulation of dead skin cells. This natural treatment will improve circulation and soften rough skin of the feet. Massage therapists often use paraffin wax for joint stiffness.

Ingredients:

  • Paraffin wax
  • Vitamin E oil
  • Coconut oil

Directions:

  • Add some coconut oil and vitamin E oil to some paraffin wax, and wrap around your feet.
  • Submerge your feet in a footbath. After a few seconds, remove the feet from the bath while the wax hardens. The feet are dipped a few more times to form a thick wax layer, before being allowed to dry for 10 to 15 minutes. Peel or rub away the wax and discard.
  • Alternatively, you can heat the paraffin wax in a double boiler before applying the mixture to the feet. Wear a pair of socks over the paraffin wax, and leave it on overnight. Scrub the application off with a soft brush, and rinse it with lukewarm water.

4. Glycerin Mixture

Glycerin is an organic compound often sourced from vegetable oil or animal fat. It is able to moisturize the skin and prevent feet from drying or becoming flaky. It’s  also used for scaly, rough, and itchy skin. One study published in the journal Acta Dermato-Venereologica in 2002 found that glycerin is effective at treating skin dryness.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp glycerin
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Directions:

  • Combine glycerin and lemon juice in a small bowl.
  • Apply the mixture to your feet and leave it for 20 minutes.
  • Wash it off with clean water and dry your feet with a clean towel.

5. Epsom Salt Soak

Epsom salt is a natural anti-inflammatory and exfoliating remedy that contains magnesium, and this can help improve blood circulation, reduce pain, and expel toxins from the feet.

Ingredients:

  • Epsom salt
  • Lukewarm water

Directions:

  • Clean your feet with soap.
  • Soak your feet in lukewarm water with two handfuls of Epsom salt. Soak your feet in the water for about 15 minutes.
  • Let the feet dry for 10 minutes, and scrub the feet to remove dead skin.
  • Soak your feet in the water for another 10 minutes, dry your feet, apply moisturizer like coconut oil, and wear socks so the feet will absorb the oils.
  • Repeat the procedure three times per week.

6. Homemade Mentholated Rub

Mentholated vapor rub is a common remedy for cough and congestion symptoms; however, some people recommend vapor rub rather than foot cream for dry or dead skin. Below is a homemade vapor rub recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup grated beeswax
  • 20 drops eucalyptus essential oil
  • 20 drops peppermint oil
  • Glass jar

Directions:

  • Pour coconut oil, olive oil, and beeswax into a jar.
  • Place a saucepan with two inches of water over medium-low heat.
  • Place the jar into the saucepan and allow the oils to melt, and stir to combine.
  • Once combined, allow to cool slightly and add the essential oils.
  • Pour the mixture into storage containers or metal tins, and allow it to set.

7. Lemon

The natural acidity of fresh lemons is known to soften accumulated dead skin, especially on the feet. The vitamin C in lemons helps the body produce collagen, which helps rejuvenate the skin. The following is a recipe using fresh lemon juice.

Ingredients:

Fresh lemon juice

Directions:

  • Fill a bucket with lukewarm water, and add some lemon juice.
  • Soak your feet in the mixture for 15 minutes.
  • Use a pumice stone or foot brush to scrub your feet.
  • Apply moisturizer like coconut oil.

8. Vinegar

Like lemons, vinegar also has acidic properties. As a result, vinegar can be very effective to remove dead skin. This will make the dead skin softer and smoother around the feet. The thymol in vinegar contains antibacterial and antifungal properties that help soften your skin.

Ingredients:

  • Vinegar
  • Water

Directions:

  • Combine equal parts of water and vinegar, and soak your feet with the solution for about 15 minutes.
  • Use a foot scrubber to remove the dead skin.
  • Wash and dry your feet. Repeat on a regular basis.

9. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is another effective remedy that treats dead skin on your feet. Oatmeal makes a great foot scrub that removes dead skin while keeping the skin properly moisturized.

Ingredients:

  • Oatmeal
  • Rose water

Directions:

  • Combine rose water with oatmeal.
  • Place oatmeal on the lower part of the feet for about 30 minutes, and then scrub the feet.
  • Rinse feet with cold water, and dry your feet.
  • Perform this procedure every other day.

10. Overripe Banana

We all know bananas are a good source of potassium and other nutrients like magnesium and vitamin C. When you leave them too long, overripe bananas actually make an effective paste when blended and applied to the feet.

Ingredients:

  • 1 overripe banana
  • 1 avocado

Directions:

  • Blend an overripe banana and avocado to form a thick paste. Apply the paste to your feet for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Rinse with lukewarm and cold water. Use the banana remedy daily.

11. Baking Soda

Baking soda is known as a rising agent for baking and for keeping refrigerators odor-free. That being said, baking soda has various other health benefits, and it is especially great for soothing feet, removing bacteria, and preventing toenail fungus. Here are a couple of feet recipes using baking soda:

Recipe 1:

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • Rose water

Directions:

  • Combine baking soda with enough rose water.
  • Rub the mixture on the feet for a few minutes. Leave it on the feet for 15 minutes, and rinse it off with water.
  • Pat dry and moisturize with coconut oil. Repeat on a regular basis.

Recipe 2:

Ingredients:

  • Baking soda
  • 2 to 4 cups milk

Directions:

  • Use enough milk to cover the feet, and boil it until lukewarm.
  • Pour the milk in a bowl for feet soaking. Soak the feet for five minutes.
  • Add some baking soda to the milk, and stir with feet.
  • Massage the mixture on the feet beneath the toes, ankles, and other dry areas. Use your hands to massage.
  • After five minutes, rinse the feet with warm feet and dry your feet. Repeat on a regular basis.

12. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a natural Indian medicine used for skin diseases like psoriasis and burns. It also is great for dry and dead skin on the feet.  Try adding the following body butter recipe with aloe vera to your feet.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup shea butter
  • 1/8 cup  jojoba oil
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tsp aloe vera gel
  • 20 drops essential oils (lemon, peppermint, ginger, etc.)
  •  Large or small glass jar

Directions:

  • Combine coconut oil, shea butter, aloe vera, and jojoba oil in a glass bowl, and place the bowl in a sauce pan filled with water.
  • Heat the stove to medium and combine oils together.
  • Once combined, refrigerate for an hour or until it is solid.
  • With a mixer, beat the oils until whipped and fluffy. Add essential oils and mix in.
  • Fill a container with the butter mixture and store at room temperature.
  • Massage the feet with the mixture, and use your hands.
  • After a few minutes, rinse the feet with water, and dry your feet. Repeat on a daily basis.

13. Raw Honey

Raw honey is known to have natural healing properties. It does everything from improve circulation, relieve eczema, heal wounds, reduce inflammation, and exfoliate dry winter skin. Here are a couple raw honey recipes for your dry and dead skin on your feet.

Recipe 1

Ingredients:

  • Raw honey
  • Lukewarm water

Directions:

  • Fill a bucket with lukewarm water, and add some raw honey.
  • Soak for 20 minutes, and wash your feet with water.
  • Dry your feet and moisturize with coconut oil.
  • Repeat this procedure three times weekly.

Recipe 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 to 2 tbsp raw honey
  • 1 tbsp rice flour
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar

Directions:

  • Combine raw honey, rice flour, olive oil, and apple cider vinegar.
  • Apply the mixture over feet, and leave it on for 15 minutes.
  • Rinse off with water and dry feet.
  • Apply coconut oil to moisture.

14. Coffee Foot Scrub

Coffee is known as a popular drink with stimulant effects. The following is a coffee foot scrub that is great for getting rid of dead skin on the feet.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp freshly ground coffee
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp ground oatmeal
  • 2 drops lavender oil

Directions:

  • Combine ground coffee, olive oil, sea salt, ground oatmeal, and lavender oil. Stir well and massage the mixture in a circular motion on the feet for a few minutes.
  • Rinse off with warm water and dry well.

15. Sea Salt Scrub

Sea salt has been a natural food flavoring for years. It also will exfoliate dead skin and moisturizes the skin. Here are a couple of ways that sea salt can benefit the skin.

Recipe 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 2 drops lavender essential oil

Directions:

Combine sea salt and lavender essential oil. Rub the mixture on your feet for a few minutes, and rinse it off with water. Dry your feet. Repeat this process on a regular basis.

Recipe 2

Ingredients:

  • Sea salt
  • Coconut sugar
  • Lukewarm water

Directions:

  • Soak your feet with lukewarm water, and leave it soaking for 30 minutes.
  • Combine it with sea salt and coconut sugar.
  • Remove your feet, and scrub them with water.
  • After a few minutes, rinse with cold water
  • Apply coconut oil as a moisturizer.

Tips to Avoid Developing Dead and Hard Skin on Feet

How do you prevent dry or hard skin on feet? Besides the methods mentioned, the following are some other preventative measures and tips for stopping dead and hard skin on feet.

  • Always dry your feet thoroughly after washing them, and apply a moisturizing substance such as coconut oil.
  • Regularly remove hard and dead skin with a foot file or pumice stone. For pumice stones, make sure it dries completely between uses and doesn’t harbor harmful bacteria or fungi.
  • Speaking of bacteria, it is a good idea to get lots of good bacteria in the diet. Some good options include kombucha, kimchi, and sauerkraut.
  • It is best to avoid alcohol. It is harmful for the skin whether it is consumed internally or used on the skin, as the chemicals in alcohol act as dehydrating agents.
  • Eliminate processed foods, especially farm-raised meat, sugary snacks, refined grains, fried foods, and processed oils.
  • Stay away from steam baths since heat leads to dry and dead skin on feet. Alternatively, use lukewarm water for bathing.
  • Do not wash too frequently since water washes away naturally occurring body oils.
  • Be sure to wear comfortable footwear, and make sure you can move around your toes within the gaps between the front of the shoe and the longest toes. Be aware that your feet will swell as the day continues. That is why avoiding heels is a good idea, since they are traditionally uncomfortable and increase the pressure at the front of your feet.

Get Rid of Dead Skin on Your Feet

Dead skin on the feet is not a sign of good health. It can actually produce a number of troublesome symptoms, which may include itchy skin, rash, peeling or flaky skin, rough skin, dry skin, and a stinky smell of the feet.

Dead skin on feet can be caused by lack of moisture, long showers, medications, skin conditions, athlete’s foot, malnutrition, diabetes, and hypothyroidism.

This article summarized the best ways of how to get rid of dead skin on feet. It is beneficial to try many of the aforementioned ingredients, including sea salt, coffee, raw honey, baking soda, aloe vera, oatmeal, overripe banana, vinegar, lemon, homemade mentholated rub, Epsom salt, warm water, glycerin, paraffin wax, and homemade antifungal scrub.


Read More On:


Sources:
“Dry Skin on Foot, Causes, Peeling, Soles of Feet, Removal, Skin Fissure, Cracked Heels, Home Remedies,” Light Skin Cure; http://www.lightskincure.org/dry-skin/dry-skin-on-foot-causes-peeling-soles-feet-cracked-heels-removal-remedy/, last accessed Oct. 16, 2017.
“Athlete’s foot: Overview” PubMed; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0072733/, last accessed Oct. 16, 2017.
“Soften Up Your Summer Feet – 7 Natural Treatments,” Annmarie; https://www.annmariegianni.com/soften-summer-feet-7-natural-treatments/, last accessed Oct. 16, 2017.
“Homemade Antifungal Powder for Stinky Feet + Toenail Fungus,” Dr. Axe; https://draxe.com/antifungal-powder/, last accessed Oct. 16, 2017.
Sanchez, L.R., “Paraffin Wax Treatment for Feet,” LIVESTRONG.com; https://www.livestrong.com/article/65953-paraffin-wax-treatment-feet/, last updated July 18, 2017.
Loden, M., et al., “A double-blind study comparing the effect of glycerin and urea on dry, eczematous skin in atopic patients,” Acta Dermato-Venereologica, 2002; 82(1): 45-47, PMIS: 12013198.
“Homemade Vapor Rub,” Dr. Axe; https://draxe.com/homemade-vapor-rub/, last accessed Oct. 16, 2017.
“33 Surprising Baking Soda Uses & Remedies,” Dr. Axe; https://draxe.com/baking-soda-uses/, last accessed Oct. 16, 2017.
“Homemade Body Butter Lotion,” Dr. Axe; https://draxe.com/homemade-body-butter-lotion/, last accessed Oct. 16, 2017.
“Top 20 Uses for Honey in Home Remedies,” Dr. Axe; https://draxe.com/top-20-uses-for-honey/, last accessed Oct. 16, 2017.
“Corns and Calluses,” NHS Choices; http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/CornsandCalluses/Pages/whatarecornsandcalluses.aspx, last accessed Oct. 16, 2017.
“Dry Skin on Feet Causes, Remedies to Get Rid of Dry Scaly, Flaky Skin on Feet,” Skin; http://skin.knowfacts.org/dry-skin/dry-skin-on-feet-causes-remedies-to-get-rid-of-dry-scaly-flaky-skin-on-feet/, last accessed Oct. 16, 2017.

The Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin

Sign Up for the Latest Health News and Tips

Need more information, click here

Yes, I’m opting in for the FREE Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin: