How to Safely Use the Amope Pedi Perfect File for Smooth and Healthy Feet
The Amope electric foot file will buff out your feet’s rough patches and create velvety soft skin in seconds.
In one week, you might take a few three-mile jogs in sneakers that have seen better days, walk around the office in four-inch pumps, and go shopping in adorable sandals that have about as much support as a piece of cardboard.
Even though these shoes help you get where you need to go, they’re also one of the reasons why your heels are rough, scratchy, and covered in calluses. But instead of shelling out the cash for a pedicurist to whip your feet back into shape, you could just grab an Amope Pedi Perfect electric dry foot file (Buy It, $20, amazon.com).
How does the Amope Pedi Perfect work?
The Amope Pedi Perfect is simply an electric version of the file your pedicurist uses to scrub off all the calluses (aka thick layers of built-up dead skin) on your feet, says Marisa Garshick, M.D., F.A.A.D., a dermatologist based in New York City. These rock-hard calluses can form naturally over time, and certain shoes can rub up against your foot’s pressure points while you walk, causing the calluses to continue to thicken, explains Dr. Garshick. “Anytime you have this friction or rubbing, the skin can get thicker,” she says. (BTW, you can develop calluses on your hands from lifting, too.)
Each Amope is equipped with a spinning roller file made from micro-abrasive particles to buff away dead or rough skin. Thanks to the device’s mechanical exfoliation, the user doesn’t have to put in the same amount of elbow grease to scrape off the thick skin as they would with a manual tool, says Dr. Garshick. After the satisfying experience of running the Amope over the heels, sides, and balls of your feet and shedding all that rough skin, you’re left with feet as soft and smooth as a baby’s bottom. (Related: The Foot-Care Products and Creams Podiatrists Use On Themselves)
What are the risks of using the Amope Pedi Perfect?
With all those powerful, skin-blasting RPMs comes the possibility of doing some real damage. If you run the Amope over one area of skin for too long, you could remove all your dead skin cells and some of your healthy skin along with it, says Dr. Garshick. (FYI, the Amope has a safety feature that stops the roller file’s rotation if you press too hard against your skin, so that helps.) Plus, any minuscule cut to the skin from improper use can increase your risk of infection, since feet come in daily contact with a lot of dirt and bacteria that can easily make its way into the body via an open wound, she explains. “With anything DIY, it’s better to err on the side of less is more because you can overdo it,” says Dr. Garshick. That means following the instructions to the T, being cautious with where you use the electric file and for how long, and using it no more than two or three times a week.
Before you start grinding off your calluses, you also need to consider which model you’re using. When you go to a salon for a callus removal or pedicure, the specialist will often soak your foot in warm water before scrubbing your damp skin with a foot file. While you might want to apply the same logic to your at-home spa session, you only want to use the Wet & Dry model (Buy It, $35, amazon.com) if you have damp skin. “When skin is wet, it’s softer and sometimes the dead skin will come off easier,” says Dr. Garshick. “So if you’re doing it manually [like in the salon], having the skin be softer is actually better. But if the device [like the Amope Pedi Perfect] says to use it on dry skin, it could potentially be too rough or too intense for wet skin.” The reason: The roller file may be too coarse for soft, damp skin, and how fast the roller file rotates could vary between models, says Dr. Garshick.
Who should avoid using the Amope Pedi Perfect?
Those with certain medical conditions may want to steer clear of the Amope Pedi Perfect. People with psoriasis experience something called the Koebner Phenomenon, which is when an injury or trauma to the skin creates more psoriasis, says Dr. Garshick. “The concept that I often explain to patients is if you pick off one flake, you're triggering your body to create 10 more flakes,” she says. And scraping the skin with an Amope electric file to get rid of flakes, a symptom of the condition, can cause this phenomenon, she says.
The same goes for those who are tempted to get rid of thick and flaky skin caused by eczema. People who are enduring an eczema flare-up will also have hypersensitive skin, so any kind of injury may make it more red, inflamed, and itchy, says Dr. Garshick. To relieve symptoms for eczema or psoriasis, she recommends using a topical steroid, which will help reduce inflammation, and talking with your dermatologist about the products and tools that work best for you and your feet. (Or, try one of these derm-approved creams for eczema.)
And if you’re someone who has poor circulation or diabetes, you'd also want to avoid using an electric foot file. Both conditions hamper the healing process, so you want to minimize any trauma to the skin, says Dr. Garshick. “Even in a very mild way, if people have conditions where they don't have good healing or they’re more predisposed to infections, even a small, little cut on the foot could lead to a bigger problem down the line,” she says.
If you’re dealing with dry, flaky feet rather than thick build-ups of calluses, opt for an over-the-counter exfoliating moisturizing cream, such as Eucerin Roughness Relief Cream (Buy It, $13, amazon.com) or Glytone Heel and Elbow Cream (Buy It, $54, amazon.com), says Dr. Garshick. Not only do they exfoliate and remove dead skin, but they also hydrate the skin to maintain the healthy skin barrier, she says.
How to Safely Use an Amope Pedi Perfect Electric Foot File
Just like pulling a pore strip off of your blackhead-spotted nose, using an electric foot file like the Amope Pedi Perfect can be oh-so-gratifying and useful—if you use it the right way. Follow these instructions from the Amope website and Dr. Garshick.
1. Clean your feet with soap and water. Rubbing alcohol can be irritating on the skin, so if you use to remove all the grime from your feet and follow up with a good scraping, your feet can become more sensitive, says Dr. Garshick. In this case, soap will do the trick. Make sure to thoroughly dry your feet.
2. Turn on the electric file and run it over the callused areas of your foot, applying medium pressure. You’ll most likely find thick and hard skin on the heels, balls, and edges of the feet where the skin is in direct contact with your shoes. While you can use it on the instep of your foot, know that skin doesn’t tend to get as thick there and may be more sensitive, says Dr. Garshick. You’ll want to run the file over any areas for no more than three to four seconds at a time. “If there’s any area that feels more sensitive or tingles or burns, as you’re doing it, I would stop using it,” she says. Another point to remember: Don’t use it on cracked or open skin, as that can increase your risk of infection, she adds.
3. Moisturize. Once you’ve filed off your calluses, slather on a gentle body moisturizer to hydrate, soothe, and nourish the healthy skin that’s now exposed, says Dr. Garshick.
4. Clean the roller file and Amope. Remove the roller file from the Amope and rinse it off with water. Wipe a moist cloth over the Amope. Dry both parts with a clean cloth.
5. Replace the roller file after three months. Over time, the Amope roller file will begin to show signs of wear and work less efficiently. Grab a replacement roller file pack (Buy It, $15, amazon.com) and swap your file for a brand new one every three months.
Voila! You’ve got velvety smooth, callus-free feet for two to three weeks, which is when you may start seeing dead skin build-up again from all the wear and tear you put on them, says Dr. Garshick. So if you’re vying for feet that have zero rough patches, using an Amope electric foot file is only half the equation. “If somebody is prone to getting calluses or they’re pretty uncomfortable, it's important to look at the shoes and the foot position in the shoes,” says Dr. Garshick. “The combination of getting rid of dead skin, plus acknowledging something that’s actually driving it, together can give you the best long-term results.”