According to Dan Michaels, DPM, “The soles of your feet don’t have oil glands like other parts of your body, which is one of the reasons why they’re prone to dryness.” Add to that the constant friction you get from walking and the added exposure to the elements during the summer months, and it’s a perfect storm for dry, flaky heels. That’s why exfoliating them regularly (even daily) is key for keeping a smooth surface. Dr. Michaels recommends using a loofa and soapy water or a pumice stone in the shower, adding that, “You want to be gentle with your pressure. Don’t scrub too hard, which is our tendency. Harder isn’t better here.”
While we’re on the topic of exfoliation, we had to ask her thoughts on those viral “Baby Foot” peels that make your feet shed for days to reveal, as its name implies, infantile skin. “Your skin naturally sheds as is, so when you use a peel like that, you’re increasing the number of layers you’re shedding, which sounds good in theory, but can actually strip the pH and moisture from your skin and take off too many layers, which can cause sensitivity,” says Dr. Michaels. “While they’re okay on occasion for those with very dry feet, they’re not something you should be using regularly.” You’re better off going the gentle, regular exfoliation route over the quick fix.