Hi DC - congrats on getting your casts off! After getting mine off - I took a warm bath. After about 15 minutes into the bath after having my feet soaking (dual bunionectomy) I took a soft wash cloth and softly scrubbed my feet. After a few minutes I had all the dead skin off (granted it was a wee bit gross) after getting out I slatered on lotion & put on a pair of my husbands cotton socks. (Since his feet are bigger the socks were loose & didn't rub on the scars). After this I had very little issue with the dead skin....but keep slatering lotion on and massaging your feet & scars.
As far as the exercises I noticed a big difference after the first week of doing them 4-6x per day (one toe had been pointing up). But, the most dramatic difference I got was after I started going to physical therapy 3x a week. They helped me to do some really amazing things - I had a couple of toes that would not touch the floor which had freaked me out. But after a few weeks of PT & doing the exercises they recommended on my own - all toes touch the ground when I walk & my scars look so much better.
Hope that helps! Hang in there you're on your way!