If you, like me, describe your feet as “terrible” — callused, rough, misshapen toenails, thick toenail cuticles — in fact, displaying the worst signs of age, you might like to try a foot peel treatment.
Treatment packs are available at pharmacies and beauty salons and are sometimes called foot milk treatments. You mustn’t expect miracles and the results don’t last forever, but the effect will be very pleasing.
Your feet will definitely be softer and smoother and with the reduction of hard and callused skin, I find a big improvement in foot flexibility. I use a treatment about twice a year and find the act of peeling away great sheets of old, hard skin very satisfying.
My feet have quite thick callus on the soles and heels, below my big toe where a bunion was removed a few years ago, on my little toes and around my toenails — even under my toenails.
As I said, “terrible” feet.
I am a heavy user of the callus cutter blade and buy my bandaids in packets of 100! The foot peel treatment is an integral part of my food care routine.
The foot peel that I use lists various chemical ingredients and fruit acids are emphasised. It is not suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding women, as well as people with:
- G6PD (a hereditary abnormality)
- Reye’s Syndrome (a disorder of the brain)
- intolerances to Salicylate.
You don’t want to use this treatment too often, and you definitely don’t want to use it on broken or inflamed skin. Keep the treatment away from your nose and mouth, and carefully follow the directions prescribed for use.
It is necessary to soak your feet in warm water for a few minutes everyday for about seven days following the treatment to stimulate the peeling action and keep it going.
Your kit will include a pair of plastic bootees containing the foot peel solution. Put them on and use the adhesive to secure around your ankles.
Pull on a pair of large socks over the plastic bootees — I use my bed socks. It keeps everything in place and allows you to walk around easily.
Keep your feet flat on the floor and wear the bootees for the recommended time, usually about two hours. You can sit, but don’t elevate. Feet must be flat on the floor.
Wriggle your toes now and again to keep the solution moving all around your feet.
When time is up, take off and discard the bootees. Rinse your feet in warm water and dry them carefully.
The solution doesn’t penetrate underneath my toenails, so I continue to remove callus there with a cuticle cutter.
Over the next week or so, you will notice skin flaking off in large and small sheets — gently pull and assist the process.
Here’s a tip: I use the callus cutter on the thick calluses under my feet towards the fifth or sixth day following the treatment to remove as much hard, stubborn callus as I can. Best not to use the callus cutter before the peel treatment in case of a nick.
You will be amazed at how much dead skin peels away. I sometimes think that my feet will disappear! For a time your feet will feel like new and look good too.
After the peeling has finished — say seven or eight days, massage some foot cream into your feet each night and wear cotton socks to bed. Do this for as long as you like to enhance your new, soft, smooth feet.
Six tips to help improve ‘terrible feet’
- Wear socks made of natural fibres — cotton or wool so that your feet can ‘breathe’
- Make sure your shoes are soft and flexible and they they too ‘breathe’
- Go for ridged soles and low heels for grip and safety with your shoes
- Avoid, if you can, shoes, socks, knee-highs and pantyhose that chafe and rub
- Only wear gumboots for a short time and never for walking any distance
- Change into comfy shoes whenever you can.
Our feet have been working hard for us for many years. Make a foot peel treatment a pampering part of their regular servicing — let it become one of the ways you keep those feet in tip-top working order.