Should you use a pumice stone before moisturizing your feet?

Man using pumice stone on person's foot
Unusual Skin Care Ingredients Image Gallery If your partner resists the notion of exfoliating and moisturizing his or her feet, then you might need to take matters into your own hands. See more pictures of unusual skin care ingredients.
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There's nothing worse than dry, scaly feet. If you're doubtful, then by all means ask your bedmate and prepare to get an earful about the nocturnal movements of your horribly, scratchy ghoul-like appendages. Absent a bedmate, you can always slide your bare feet into flip-flops and observe how quickly people shy away from the sight of them.

By design, the bottoms of your feet weather a great deal of friction. Hey, you walk on them, don't you? You stuff them into Buster Browns as a kid and maybe some Dr. Martens or high-heeled pumps once you're grown. All of this wear and tear causes corns and calluses, your body's way of toughening them up for more of the same friction. Obviously, you don't want to sand off the bottoms of your feet, but you also don't want scary feet either.


Fortunately, we have the choice to smooth out and moisturize our feet after all the torture we put them through. As long as your corns and calluses aren't inflamed, you can soak them in warm, soapy water for a few minutes to soften the hardened skin. Then it's time to pull out that pumice stone or foot file and rub off some of the skin -- though seriously, don't go nuts. You still want to be able to walk on those things.

If you don't want to use a rough stone on your feet, you can always use a Ped Egg instead. Just be warned: Disposing of the gadget's accumulated skin filings can make you think twice about requesting freshly ground parmesan at your favorite Italian restaurant.

At this point, yes, it is indeed a good idea to apply some moisturizing lotion to your feet. This will help keep the skin pliable and prevent cracking skin and fissures. However, if calluses are discolored, painful or bleeding, have them examined by a doctor. A podiatrist also can employ more advanced techniques to treat or remove particularly noisome corns and calluses.

For most of us though, a simple skin care regimen can keep your feet healthy and your bedmate free from the nightmarish scratching of your harsh foot calluses.

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Related HowStuffWorks Articles

  • "Callus." The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists. 2009. (Sept. 11, 2009)
  • Langer, Paul. "Great Feet for Life: Footcare and Footwear for Healthy Aging." Fairview Press. March 25, 2007. (Sept. 11, 2009)