5 Steps to Prettier Feet Now

At-Home Treatments

If you have no time for a professional pedicure, there are some easy and effective at-home treatments you can try. Besides saving time, these treatments have the added benefit of being easy and cost-effective because they can be done with inexpensive products you may already have at home.

These simple steps will soothe and refresh your feet and have them looking and feeling better fast.

Woman's feet wearing sandals on light purple flower petals
Alicia Bock / Stocksy United

Start With a Soak

Add a few tablespoons of bath salts or Epsom salts to a basin of warm water and soak your feet for 5-15 minutes. This will cleanse and soften skin and nails, making toenail trimming and callus removal much easier.

File Calluses

Once your feet are dry, use a foot file tool or large nail file to gently file any corns or calluses. Using light hand pressure, file corns and calluses until the skin appears and feels smoother.

Sometimes larger corns and calluses will need to be professionally trimmed by a podiatrist, especially if they are painful. Avoid callus shavers, as they may cut healthy skin and cause bleeding.


To remove dead skin cells and diminish rough skin, gently massage your feet with an exfoliating foot scrub product. Be sure to avoid any wounds. Rinse thoroughly after application.

If you prefer, you can make your own scrub: Dilute two tablespoons of sea salt with equal amounts of baby oil and lemon juice. Other types of oils that can be used are olive oil, coconut oil, or canola oil.

Toenail Treatment

Here is a quick and simple routine for improving the look and health of toenails:

  1. Remove any nail polish.
  2. Trim toenails straight across so that some of the white remains.
  3. Lightly brush the surface of toenails with a nail buffer or fine grit nail file.
  4. Apply some lemon juice with a cotton swab on and around the nail to further remove dead skin and give nails a healthy shine.
  5. If your toenails are discolored or yellow from frequent nail polish use, scrub them with a paste made of baking soda diluted with water.


Once feet are dry, finish by applying your favorite lotion or cream. For areas that tend to get cracks or calluses, try applying a heavier moisturizing product, such as a heel cream or balm.

More Foot Care Tips

Use these tips to treat your feet right:

  • Do not cut toenail cuticles: they protect the nail and surrounding skin from infection.
  • Toenails can absorb some of the pigment in nail polish, causing a yellow discoloration. To prevent this, don't always paint your toenails: if you have nail polish on for two weeks, take two weeks off so they can return to normal, and you'll see less discoloration.
  • Nail polish removers with acetone can dry out nails causing a chalky appearance. Try an acetone-free nail polish remover or apply a moisturizing product to the nail after removing the polish.
  • Apply moisturizing products at least once a day to callused or cracked skin.
  • Use an over-the-counter foot powder or sneaker spray if your feet tend to sweat.
  • Rinse your feet with cool water after a long day in shoes. This will minimize the ravages of sweat, which can irritate skin and increase the risk of athlete's foot.
  • Seek medical treatment for any slow or non-healing wound, rash, or toenail infection.

By Catherine Moyer, DPM
Catherine Moyer, DPM, is a podiatrist experienced in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disorders of the foot and ankle.