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How do I get Rid of Rough Heels?

Anna T.
Updated May 17, 2024
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One of the best ways to get rid of rough heels is through exfoliation followed by the application of moisturizing lotion. There are additionally some over-the-counter foot creams that, when used according to package directions, might help to get rid of the rough skin on your heels. You should keep in mind that getting rid of rough heels does not normally happen overnight, and it might take several heel treatments to get your skin completely smooth. Getting rid of heel roughness is also something that you will probably have to keep doing every few months, particularly if you wear sandals or go barefoot frequently.

To treat your rough, dried out heels, you can soak your feet in very warm or hot water for about 10 minutes. This will help to loosen up the dried out skin, making it easier for you to remove. After your feet have soaked, use either a metal heel scraping tool or a pumice stone to scrape away the dead, rough skin. Be careful as you do this because if you scrape too vigorously, you may accidentally cut into the new skin growing underneath. When you have gotten rid of as much of the dead skin as you can, stop scraping and spread a thick layer of lotion or petroleum jelly onto your heels.

If you chose to moisturize your rough heels with lotion, you can simply rub it in until the skin completely absorbs it. Keep in mind that if you use petroleum jelly, you will likely have to wipe it off with a napkin or rag after several minutes because it doesn't absorb into the skin as easily as lotion does, but it should still make your heels feel much softer. If you do not want to use lotion or petroleum jelly, many stores carry specialized foot creams that would probably work well instead. In addition to moisturizing your feet, many of these lotions contain ingredients such as aloe, which can be soothing if your heel skin is irritated.

You may have to exfoliate and moisturize your heels several days in a row to get the desired results. Your heels will probably become rough again over time, especially if you don't wear socks very often and your feet are frequently bare and exposed directly to the elements. If you like going barefoot but don't want to have to deal with rough heels, you may benefit from wearing socks when you sleep. You can use lotion on your feet at night and cover them with socks, which will help to lock in the moisture and keep your feet soft.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Anna T.
By Anna T.
Anna Thurman is a skilled writer who lends her talents to WiseGeek. Her ability to research and present information in an engaging and accessible manner allows her to create content that resonates with readers across a wide range of subjects.
Discussion Comments
By backwoodbeds — On Feb 23, 2014

I accidentally found something that works on my heels and hands. I am a woodworker / designer, and I make my own line of solid wood beds. Since I also make my own paste wax for the finishes on the wood (it helps the environment as well as my lungs, because it has no chemicals in it), I put it a little too much beeswax on the last batch.

Knowing it would take me forever to rub that on the wood, I decided to try it on my feet. After three nights of applying it, my heels are in great shape. Yes exfoliating is important -- very important -- but the lotions and the Vaseline tend to be only a temporary fix for that area. I am making a new batch and have had quite a few requests from family and friends for a little sample. It's completely natural and 100 percent chemical or additive free.

By anon924421 — On Jan 04, 2014

The Ped Egg is a load of crap. I tried one and it ripped the heck out of my feet. don't waste your money.

By medicchristy — On Jan 10, 2011


The Ped Egg uses around 135 micro files with a stainless steel blade. I know, it sounds painful, but it’s really not. It actually shaves off the dry or dead skin and stores it in the container. I had a bit of a mishap the first time I used mine. I dropped it after I had just finished using it. It came open and all of the skin shavings fell out onto my floor! I have since discovered how to use it with more ease!

By dill1971 — On Jan 10, 2011

@chrisinbama: I was a skeptic regarding the Ped Egg. I finally bought one and it has proven me wrong. It really does work well. It just works in a different way than lotions and such. The Ped Egg literally removes the dry and dead skin from your feet.

You can actually see the results because when you use the Ped Egg, the skin that is removed is dropped into the container. When you empty it out, you can see how much dead skin was removed.

By chrisinbama — On Jan 08, 2011

I have horribly dry feet. They are really so bad that I do not even like to wear sandals. I have tried so many different products but have not yet found anything to be effective. I thought about trying the Ped Egg but I don't know if it is just one of those TV scams that doesn't really work. Has anyone tried it?

Anna T.
Anna T.
Anna Thurman is a skilled writer who lends her talents to WiseGeek. Her ability to research and present information in an engaging and accessible manner allows her to create content that resonates with readers across a wide range of subjects.
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