How to Remove Dead Skin From Feet

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The feet are the foundation of our body. They keep you upright, get you from place to place, and, thus, need a little care from time to time to stay in top shape.

This TLC means more than popping in for a foot massage! Rather, the care we’re speaking of entails removing the build-up of dead skin and preventing calluses from forming over time.

best way to remove dead skin from feet

It is easier than most would think to change a few habits and throw a little bit of self-care into their routine!

Overall, it will make your feet look great while feeling softer and healthier.

What are Calluses?

Calluses are layers of dead skin caused by persistent rubbing or pressure. Feet, in particular, are notorious for developing these growths.

Considering how much time people spend on their feet, it isn’t all that surprising, right?

While calluses do have the benefit of making your skin more resistant to scratches, scrapes, and splinters, if left to grow, these layers of dead skin can crack or start to cause painful, itching, or burning sensations.

Dry, cracked feet don’t feel or look particularly nice either. You can hardly footsie-flirt with your partner if your foot is so rough it scratches their skin!

Good news is, there are plenty of at-home methods you can use to remove dead skin from feet with little fuss! Not everyone can spare the time or money for weekly pedicures.

What Causes Dead Skin Build-Ups?

In this day and age, the most common cause of built-up dead skin is ill-fitting shoes. Heels, in particular, are guilty of this. But what else contributes to layers of dead skin accumulating?

Well, prolonged standing, toe friction, excessive moisture, pressure on the feet, and long-distance running can all result in an increase of skin build-up.

Careers that involve one or more of these, such as working in retail or as an athlete, will have the obvious side effect of callus build-up.

People with such jobs may want to get into the habit of practicing one or more of these methods for removing dead skin from your feet.

How to Remove Dead Skin from Feet

If you are wondering how to get rid of dead skin on feet, you have come to the right place!

There are dozens of at-home remedies anyone can use, from quick five minute routines to luxurious treatments that can add the cherry on top of a long, relaxing “treat yo’ self” day.

A key piece of info for all of these methods, though; they are best performed just before you go to bed, giving time for the oils and moisturizers to sink into your skin.

Warm Water

Few things in life cannot benefit from a hot bath!

Soaking your feet in a bed of warm water for 20 minutes will loosen any dead skin well enough that a good scrub with a loofah or pumice stone will remove most of the dead skin.

Once you’ve rinsed all the dead skin away, dry your feet with a towel, and slap some moisturizer on those feet.

Rub it in, or bribe your partner into doing it for you. If the weather allows, slipping on a pair of socks before retreating into bed is a good idea.

Lemon Water

Obviously, you’ll want to avoid this method if you have any open wounds on your feet.

Otherwise, this method does much the same as the above, but also offers the acidity (and pleasant scent) of lemon to help loosen the dead skin cells.

Really, learning how to get rid of dead skin on feet means learning how to squeeze a 30-minute spa treatment into your schedule two or three times a week.

It can be hard to find the time, but your health should always take precedence!

Fill a bucket with warm water and add in however much lemon juice you like. Soak your feet in this solution for 15 – 20 minutes, then scrub with a pumice stone, rinse, and pat dry.

Follow by massaging in a moisturizer of your choice.


While not a pleasant-smelling method, a vinegar and water solution works well towards softening the layers of dead skin and scrubbing impurities away.

Vinegar has long been used as a disinfectant and thus will sting like the dickens on any open wounds. It won’t do any harm, but it may make you curse up a storm.

The most effective ratio is one cup of vinegar to every seven gallons of water. Soak your feet in this for 45 minutes (maybe crack a window too?) and then scrub away the dead skin with a pumice stone.

best way to remove dead skin from feet

Rinse, repeat if necessary, and apologize to your bedmate for the stink of vinegar.

A pleasant-smelling moisturizer can cover up the sharp tang of vinegar, of course!


This method uses vinegar as well, although the addition of Listerine dims the smell to tolerable levels, and is good for anyone who is also dealing with fungal infections on their feet.

The combination of Listerine and vinegar stops bacteria and fungus spores in their tracks! Plus, your feet will smell minty fresh, which is a… good thing?

In a bucket of water, add one cup each of vinegar and Listerine. Soak your feet in this for 20 minutes and then exfoliate with (you guessed it) a pumice stone.

Be sure to rinse your feet thoroughly after this wash!

Mentholated Rub

One of the quickest and easiest methods to fit into your routine – give your feet a good wash in the shower as normal.

Once dry, massage a mentholated rub into your feet, pull on some socks, and go to bed. Give your feet a good wash the next morning.

This method works more towards preventing dead skin from building up than removing heavy calluses, but it can skim a thin layer of dead gunk away.

Repeat this process two to three times a week for the best results!

Foot Scrub

Like many health magazines say, you can mix up a few ingredients from the pantry and have yourself a quality skin scrub ready to go in minutes. Dead skin on feet can be lifted away with a good scrub!

This mix, in particular, exfoliates and moisturizes the skin. Double win!

Mix up the juice of half a lemon, two tablespoons of olive oil, and two tablespoons of brown sugar. Rub this mixture over your feet for a few minutes and let it soak in for another 15.

Rinse off and pat dry. Repeat this two to three times a week.

Sea Salt Scrub

As a less sticky scrub than the one above, use sea salt and olive oil!

Throw these ingredients together in whatever amount you need (you want the consistency of wet sand) and massage the paste into your feet for a few minutes.

Unlike the above method, don’t leave this sitting on your skin for longer than necessary. Salt draws in moisture, and your efforts will be moot if the scrub absorbs all the moisture from your skin.

Wash your tootsies thoroughly and slap on a moisturizer of your choice.

This is a great scrub that you can make yourself. Plus, it won’t cost a fortune.

Petroleum Jelly

A very simple method to prevent dead skin from forming into calluses is to rub petroleum jelly onto your feet a few times a week.

This does mean sleeping with socks on, as they will lock the moisture in and keep the jelly from staining the sheets.

Really, it is a good idea to wear socks to sleep whenever you put moisturizer on; there are even special socks you can buy that will enhance how well moisturizers work!

Though this method does not remove dead skin, it does soften the skin over time and make it easier to maintain a healthy glow.

Epsom Salt Bath

Aside from softening the calluses up, Epsom salt baths pull toxins out of the skin and improve circulation in the feet. This can be a once-a-week treat if you like – perfect for a relaxing Sunday afternoon.

Soak your feet in warm water and clean any dirt away, paying special attention to the soles of your feet. In a fresh load of warm water, stir in a healthy handful of the salts until dissolved.

Soak your feet in this solution until the water cools. Pat dry, and then scrub the dead skin away. Once more, let your feet bask in another fresh load of warm water, dry, and apply a moisturizer of your choice.

These methods are just a few ways to remove dead skin from your feet. There are a few things you can do, too, that will stop calluses from worsening – or developing altogether!

remove dead skin from feet



Getting properly-fitted shoes will make a world of difference!

Aside from easing the strain on your joints, legs, hips, and back, shoes that fit properly won’t put unnecessary pressure on your feet.

If you’re an active person, then investing in a good pair of sneakers is one of the best decisions you will ever make.


People that work on their feet often suffer from foot pains and calluses. If at all possible, try and half the amount of time you spend on your feet.

Considering some careers, however, sitting isn’t possible. In this case, a good compromise is to get some supportive shoes and let your feet rest during breaks.


The best habits to get into? Making one or two of the methods above fit into your weekly routine!

Calluses won’t go away in a day. It takes diligent effort to reduce and keep dead skin from forming calluses.

Here’s a video showing more details on how to remove dead skin from feet.

Learning how to get dead skin off feet boils down to getting yourself a good pumice stone, being diligent with moisturizer, and tending to your feet a few times each week.

Your feet keep you up all day long. Treat them right, and they’ll be baby-soft in no time at all.