The author understands that dry, rough feet can be embarrassing and inconvenient. She's here to share tips for keeping feet soft and smooth.
Are Your Rough Feet Ruining Sheets? Save Your Bedding With These Tips!
Have you ever been attacked in the middle of the night by your partner's rough and unkempt feet or heard the sound of snagging and ripped fabric as their feet rub up against the comforter, causing it to lose its once luxurious look?
Perhaps you have admired a woman's outfit in public until you looked at her feet in horror, wondering why she spent what looks to be an obscene amount of time to perfect her look but neglected her feet. We've all seen this, or perhaps you have been the culprit!
Not everyone can afford to get weekly or even bi-weekly pedicures, and there are many out there who are either embarrassed or feel uncomfortable at the thought of someone touching their feet.
This does not mean that you cannot have nice feet. Here are some very helpful tips and ideas on how to turn your cracked, damaged, and rough feet into something to be desired.
Foot Care 101: How to Get Soft Feet
Here's a step-by-step guide to getting soft feet—save your sheets and maintain your foot health by following these steps. Below is a list of the supplies you'll need for weekly foot care, then an in-depth guide to manicuring, soaking, scrubbing, and lotioning your feet.
First things first—you need some supplies. Without these, all of your efforts will be for nothing.
- Plastic bags (re-used from the grocery store) or plastic wrap
- Pumice stone
- A large nail file (We must not neglect the toes!)
- Nail fungus treatment (if needed—this is for those dark and fungus-ridden toenails)
- A good cream, preferably a foot cream, but lotion will do. (Burt's Bees works the best—it's pricy but worth its weight in gold! This you can usually find at any drugstore, such as CVS, Rite-Aid, or Walgreens.)
- Anti-bacterial body wash (Any kind will do.)
- Any type of body scrub (liquid form). If you do not have this, you can make it using sugar, body wash, and water.
- Cotton socks
- Your favorite nail polish color
- Nail polish remover
- Toenail clippers
- Optional: Portable foot bath. If you decide to use a portable foot bath, drop in two chamomile teabags for a lovely tea soak.
You can find almost all of these things in your local bargain stores such as the Dollar Store, Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, Dollar General, or other regional variations.
Step-by-Step Guide to Repairing Rough, Unkempt Feet
It can be quite difficult to stay "on your toes" when it comes to keeping your feet in tip-top shape. However, following these steps on a regular basis can go a long way in helping you maintain soft, happy, and healthy feet.
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Step One: Clean Your Toes and Soak
- Before soaking your feet, you will want to address your toenails. Remove any nail polish before getting in the tub. This entire process should be done once a week, and your toenail polish should be changed just as frequently.
- Once you have removed your polish, begin cutting your nails. Your nails should be even with your toe's edge. (Avoid cutting or filing past this point. If you have overly short toenails, try letting them grow to the edge of your toe for a neater, more appealing look.)
- Next, file your nails, shaping them along the tip and sides. Your toenails should be filed into a squared shape to avoid ingrown toenails. You can slightly round these edges, but it should only be slight.
- Now it's time to get rid of your rough feet. The easiest way to accomplish this is in the bathtub, as it provides for easy cleanup. If you have a small, portable foot bath, by all means, indulge, but for those who don't, this works just as well, if not better, in the bathtub. You will want the water nice and warm to loosen up the calluses. Let yourself have a nice soak, sit back, sip some tea, and reflect on your day while you're at it. (Go ahead—you deserve it!)
Step Two: Scrub Your Feet
Now down to business! You will need some elbow grease for this, especially if your feet are extremely rough and "crusty."
- Slather your foot scrub generously onto one of your feet (keeping it out of the water). If you don't have scrub, you can mix your body wash and sugar (a handful) mixed with a little water in a container on the side. It should be in a paste-like form with a gritty feel.
- Now, take your pumice stone and, beginning at the back of your heel, start scrubbing! You can scrub in one direction alternating by going in another direction, but I've found that you save time and are more effective when you use a circular motion. You will need to dip your stone back into the water from time to time, but you should spend about five minutes on each foot. It isn't necessary to scrub hard, but you should be thorough. The most common problem areas are the heels and the outer edge of the foot. Make sure you feel your foot as you scrub it to ensure that you are removing the dead skin properly.
- As you scrub, move up towards your toes and scrub around the outer edge of your big toe—a highly neglected area as well. Scrub the bottom of your toes and head to your pinky toe.
- Repeat the process being very careful—remember, a circular motion works best. Now, survey your work. If your foot is still extremely rough, repeat the process gently but firmly as you do not want to break the skin. This should not be a painful process! Once you have finished one foot, head to the other—repeating the same process.
Step Three: Dry and Lotion Your Feet
- Once you have finished scrubbing, be sure to rinse your feet completely. After letting the water out, give your feet one last rinse, ensuring that you rinse between your toes as the gritty scrub tends to hide well here, even when your foot is submerged in water.
- Now, dry your feet completely, especially in between your toes! Wet feet and nails breed fungus. If you have problems with toe fungus (darkened toenails), follow your nail fungus treatment instructions.
- The one thing that can help to avoid your feet returning to the look of floured concrete is this: You must lotion your feet! It is especially important when you get out of the bath or shower. Too many people skip this step when, in fact, it's the most important one to keeping soft, healthy feet. It is best to use a nice skin-repairing cream, but you can substitute any lotion if you don't have one.
- This next step works best if you are not going to be walking around, will be resting, or are on your way to bed. When putting lotion on your feet, be extremely generous and do not rub it all the way in. You should still be able to see the lotion on your feet. Next, wrap your feet in the plastic bags or plastic wrap, then put your socks on over this.
- Now, all you need to do is relax! Be very careful when walking, as the plastic under your socks will make for a slippery trot around the house. Leave your feet this way for a few hours or overnight.
When you remove your socks and plastic, you will be amazed at the results.
The Dos and Don'ts of Foot Care
- Do perform this treatment once a week—don't skimp; your feet deserve better.
- Don't walk around barefoot—this causes your feet to become rougher and extremely dry.
- Do keep socks on your feet as much as possible when at home—this will help keep the moisture in and avoid instances where your feet will come into contact with rough surfaces.
- Don't wear sneakers without socks.
- Do apply lotion to your feet more than once per day. When wearing sandals, lotion your feet at least 30 minutes before wearing your shoes. It can be very difficult to walk when you have just applied lotion.
- Don't bathe or shower without putting lotion on your feet—you should be in the habit of putting lotion on your entire body, but your feet are extremely important. If you want your feet to carry you through life, you need to take good care of them.
- Do keep your polish fresh and your toes trimmed and neat.
- Don't wear shoes that are entirely too tight—don't grin and bear it for fashion.
- Do in the winter months, mix a little Vaseline with your lotion as a means to lock in the moisture.
Remember, It's never too late to have nice feet, nor does it need to cost a fortune!
Spacey Gracey from Essex, UK on July 16, 2010:
Your title made me laugh out loud - that is my feet! My toes are lovely, my heels could cause heavy bleeding to my husbands leg if he got in the way in bed!