What Is Foot Pumice?

M.C. Huguelet
M.C. Huguelet
A foot pumice can help remove calluses and soften the feet.
A foot pumice can help remove calluses and soften the feet.

A foot pumice is a roughly textured piece of hardened volcanic lava used to slough away cracked and hardened skin from the bottoms of the feet. Pumice is produced when lava that is very hot and highly pressurized is suddenly forced out of a volcano. A foot pumice may take the form of a simple block of pumice, a piece of pumice that is attached to a handle, or a scrub that contains very small fragments of pumice. To use a foot pumice, the skin is first soaked until softened, and then the pumice is rubbed over the bottom of the feet until problem skin has been sloughed away.

Feet should be soaked before use of a pumice.
Feet should be soaked before use of a pumice.

Pumice is a form of volcanic lava that occurs naturally under certain conditions. When very hot lava that is under a great deal of pressure is rapidly ejected from a volcano, it cools and depressurizes at an unusual rate, causing it to become frothy. This frothy lava hardens into a highly porous, rock-like substance. The porousness of this substance gives it an abrasive texture that makes it highly effective in smoothing rough surfaces, such as cracked heels and foot calluses.

Foot pumice scrapes away hardened, dead skin.
Foot pumice scrapes away hardened, dead skin.

Manufacturers of foot care items make a variety of foot pumice products. Some foot pumices consist of nothing more than a rectangle of pumice that can be held in the hand. In many cases, a foot pumice comprises a piece of pumice attached to a wooden or plastic handle. Often, a roughly bristled brush or a file is placed on the opposite side of this type of pumice’s face. It is also possible to purchase pumice scrubs for the feet, which usually consist of fragments of pumice suspended in a scented, lathering cream or gel.

Foot pumice is created from hardened volcanic lava.
Foot pumice is created from hardened volcanic lava.

Those who wish to treat their feet with a foot pumice may do so themselves or may have their problem skin treated during a pedicure. To use a pumice, the feet generally must first be soaked to soften tough skin. If using a block of pumice, the block is then simply rubbed back and forth over rough skin until it has been sloughed away. Alternatively, a pumice scrub is massaged into the feet and toes and then rinsed away. For maximum softness, many people rub a moisturizing lotion into their feet after treating them with a pumice.

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    • A foot pumice can help remove calluses and soften the feet.
      A foot pumice can help remove calluses and soften the feet.
    • Feet should be soaked before use of a pumice.
      Feet should be soaked before use of a pumice.
    • Foot pumice scrapes away hardened, dead skin.
      Foot pumice scrapes away hardened, dead skin.
    • Foot pumice is created from hardened volcanic lava.
      Foot pumice is created from hardened volcanic lava.
    • A foot pumice removes cracked and hardened skin.
      A foot pumice removes cracked and hardened skin.
    • Cooled lava can form into pumice stone.
      Cooled lava can form into pumice stone.