A foot file is a file which is specifically designed to be used on the feet. Foot files are used to remove calluses and smooth the skin of the feet, and some people regard them as an important part of foot care. Regular use of a foot file can help to keep the feet smooth and pleasant, and it can reduce discomfort from oversized calluses.
Foot files come in a range of styles designed for different applications, ranging from fine glass files for finishing touches to rough files, like a Microplane® file, which are almost like graters for the feet. For people who take foot filing seriously, a range of foot files may be used during a foot care session, with a rough file to remove especially large calluses, and a fine file to smooth the foot at the end of the session.
Rough foot files can be made from metal or sandpaper. Metal foot files are used to essentially grate calluses away, and they require a delicate touch to ensure that excessive tissue is not removed from the foot. Sandpaper or emery files require less care, but they take up more time, as the course material works more slowly than a microplaning foot file. Fine files made from textured glass or very fine emery paper are designed for finishing touches only, as they are far too fine for serious calluses.
To use a foot file, it helps to soak the feet first, softening up the skin. Many people like to soak their feet in salts, sometimes adding essential oils to make their feet smell good. After soaking, the foot can be filed with brisk motions from the foot file. Maintaining even pressure is important, to ensure that calluses are filed uniformly, as is working lightly around sensitive areas of the foot. Once the bulk of dead skin and callused material is removed, a finer file can be used to finish up, and then the feet can be rinsed and moisturized.
For people with rough feet, a foot file can help to keep their feet soft and smooth, traits which are often of aesthetic value. Calluses can also cause pain if they grow especially large, so removing calluses makes walking more comfortable. Foot files can also be used to smooth out cracks in the feet, although it may take a series of sessions of foot filing combined with deep moisturizing to resolve the problem.