How to Use a Foot File

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Our feet get more brutal treatment than any other body part. They can accumulate thick, dry and calloused skin around the heels, toes and the ball of the foot. This dead skin needs to be removed periodically, because a build up will cause problems. Use a foot file and these steps to groom your feet.

  • Choose to do your own pedicure or have an assistant help you. As you age, you will find it harder to flex your legs enough to do it yourself.

  • Buy a foot file that is comfortable in your hand. Some are made of plastic, metal and emery and others are made of wood and emery. There is generally a coarse side and a fine side. Use the resources section below to find foot files.

  • Take a bath or soak your feet to soften up dead skin. Your assistant will thank you for this.

  • Start with the coarse side of the foot file. Slide it back and forth across the ball of your foot and the bottoms of your toes gently.

  • Move to the heel and work mostly on the outside rim of the heel, still with the rough side of the file.

  • Flip the file over and repeat the process with each foot. The fine side will smooth the skin and leave it feeling polished.

Tips & Warnings

  • Some foot files have a small compartment under the abrasive side that fills up with particles of dead skin. Flip this open and empty it after each pedicure.
  • Clean your foot file as recommended by the manufacturer after each use.
  • Be gentle. Dead skin build-up didn't happen overnight, and if you try to remove it all at once, you'll wind up with sore feet.

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