Posted by Jenn F. on Monday, February 6th, 2012
Remember when your feet were all soft and smooth? Yeah, I don’t remember that either. I’m sure there’s photo evidence around somewhere, though, maybe from when I was about six.
However, at some crazy point in my life I got the idea that running many, many miles as often as possible was a really awesome thing to do. Once I started on that road, it was goodbye smooth, soft feet; hello rough, calloused feet.
So now my feet can best be described as Sock Worthy, as in, “Please, cover those things UP!!” However, I’ve never really done anything about it. I know I could, though. I know about…the Pumice Stone.
A pumice stone, as you may recall from 4th grade science class, is a stone that is formed from lava with a high gas content that produces frothy bubbles. It’s just like the foamy head on a pint of beer except it’s about a million degrees hot and will burn your face off if you try to drink it. When that frothy lava meets cool air, the bubbles form a soft, light rock that has the texture of the inside of an Aero bar except they’re gray and taste terrible (if you haven’t had an Aero bar, note that it is a type of chocolate bar sold in Britain. Go get one and try it, even if you have to go to the UK to get it. They’re really good).
Pumice stones have a sandpaper-like texture and are used to exfoliate dry rough skin, most commonly on the feet. I’m thinking about trying one on my callused, thickened-up feet, so I looked up info on how to use a pumice stone, which I will share with you:
1) Choose a pumice stone that is intended to be used on skin. There are rough, jagged pumice stones that are meant for cleaning things like mineral buildup and you don’t want to use those unless you’ve accumulated a really dire layer of something on your foot. Okay, not even then. Here’s a hint to help you get the right kind of pumice stone: if they’re selling it in a hardware store, it’s probably not what you’re looking for, unless that hardware store has an aisle devoted to things like nail polish and cuticle care. Stick to pumice stones sold in the beauty section of a drugstore. I
2) Soak your feet in warm soapy water to soften the skin. You can use a pumice stone on dry skin, but it will feel a lot better if your skin is somewhat damp.
3) Soften the pumice stone by dipping it in some water. Shake off the excess water so you don’t have a wet stone dripping all over the place.
4) Using a circular motion, gently rub a calloused area on your foot with the pumice stone for a few minutes. Don’t keep at it for a half hour with the goal of removing the entire callous at one shot; you’ll most likely need a few sessions to really smooth it out. After you’ve gone at it for a bit, rinse off your foot to clear away any dead skin, then put some lotion on your foot to help rehydrate your skin.
So now that you know, and I know how to use a pumice stone, let’s give it a try and see if we can all make our feet a lot lovelier.
If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine. Dr. Josef J. Geldwert, Dr. Katherine Lai, and Dr. Ryan Minara have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.