A foot scraper should be a standard item in your at home or travel toiletry kit. Calloused heels and feet are not attractive, for either men or women. Dry heels can likely turn into cracked heels, which also are likely to attract debris and dirt, making you look like you have dirty little feet, even if you’ve just stepped from the shower or bath out of your home. As weather gets warmer, more people are apt to wear a wide variety sandals, whether for formal or daily wear, and for the most casual of summer settings, flip flops. For women, a pretty pedicure goes a long way and a significant contributor to those fancy feet are soft and youthful looking heels.
Double-Sided File: The most common kind of foot scraper/file is a stand plastic or wood handled double-sided file. One side is usually rougher than the other. Often, the rougher side is used initially and the smaller grained side is used for finessing. Pedi-Egg: If you watch TV, you’ve no doubt seen the latest, “ergo-nomically” designed foot scraper/file, which is shaped like an egg.Callus Shaver with Rasp: These are usually reserved for the most severely thick dried calluses and actually works to shave off layers of the calluses.Battery-powered: This style of filer/scraper features the same kind of mechanics as the over-the-counter microderm-abrasion hand-held tools that are used for the face and body. The downside to this kind of tool is that the round emery-board discs will need to be replaced and may be hard to find if you don’t stock up.Callus Rasp: Designed to remove and smooth calluses, these usually are also two-sided, one more coarse (stainless stee) and one for more delicate areas (nickel plated). Each side of the rasp comes off for cleaning.Ceramic Stones: These also have rough and finer sides, are recommended for diabetics and are also washable.Pumice Stone: These are available in their natural state or attached to a plastic or wood-handled element.Glass File: The easy-to-sterilize glass foot files are not porous, don’t absorb contaminants are made into one solid piece. A glass file an be boiled in soapy water or soaked in disinfectant. They are available in various quality levels. Some will not break after much use, others are thinner and must be used much more gingerly. Glass files are designed not to shatter and will break “clean.” A big advantage to a glass foot file is that they give calluses and heels the immediate sensation of smooth softness.
Prepare Water for the Foot Soak. You must always soak your feet before using one or more of the variants of foot scrapers. Use water as warm as your tootsies can stand, and soak for a minimum of five minutes, and an ideal of 15 minutes.
Prepare the Foot Soak. You don’t need a fancy foot spa, a basin large enough to accommodate your feet and have them fully submerged. Pour very warm water into the bin
Foot Soak Ingredients. You can make the soak with simple soapsuds – in a pinch, hand soap, shampoo, or dish soap will work. To this lightly soapy mixture, you can add salts (bath or mineral salts or a cup of Epson salts). Epson salts are a natural disinfectant (ideal for the roughest, cracked peds). A teaspoon of olive oil provides a moisturizing element; aromatic oils like chamomile soften skin, and lavender can heal cuts and fissures. Some experts add mineral-rich seaweed soak, marine algae or menthol, which can help heal tired feet.
The Soak. The warm water works on tired feet and begins the softening process for the hardened skin. After the (five to 15 minute) soak, touch the bottoms of your feet, singling out the areas that will need the foot scraper’s attention. You should be able to find the calluses, which are most commonly on the balls of the feet, the sides of the feet and, of course, the heels.
Time for the Foot Scraper. Lay a towel next to the basin, and place your feet on them, drying them gently. Bring your foot up to the opposite knee, flex your foot so the ball of the foot moves outward. Hold the scraper with the back of it towards the foot, file/scrape off the skin in a downward motion. Repeat the backwards and forwards movement until there is no more callused skin to remove; the foot should be smooth.
Post Foot Scraper. Some experts recommend the use of a pumice store for a finer edge to further smooth out the skin. Pumice stones are available in their natural form, and with various handles.
Moisturize. Use either an oil or rich moisturizer and massage your feet all over, of course including the area treated with the foot scraper/file. Massaging feet increases blood circulation, relaxes muscles and relieves aches and pains. Don't neglect your toes. Rub between toes, using a gentle touch. Finish by rubbing each toe individually. Give both feet equal care. Apply oil or moisturizer to your calves, too, massaging it in.
Don't attempt to do this in a rush; take your time. Part of doing a good job on grooming feet is doing it well. It can also be quite relaxing.
Do not attempt this yourself if you have diabetes, unless you’ve consulted a doctor. If you are having this done at a spa or a salon, make sure they are diligent about sterilizing their equipment. Never try to file/scrape the feet when dry, it may cause bleeding and may thin skin to the point of sensitivity.