Calluses are areas of hard, rough, thickened skin commonly found on the feet, but may also be seen on the hands. They are caused by repetitive friction against one area of the skin, such as when wearing shoes that are too tight, or walking with an uneven gait. Calluses are large, flat areas of thick skin, differing from corns, which are a similar foot ailment, but are generally a small, raised bump on the foot. To choose the best methods for callus removal, first consider any medical conditions you may already have.
Those with diabetes or another illness that impedes healing or causes the skin of the foot to be dlicate should seek the advice of a podiatrist before trying to remove calluses on their own. A medical professional will be able to help you choose the best way to remove calluses that will be safe for you. Never use medicated pads on the feet, and do not file the skin with a foot file.
If you are otherwise relatively healthy and the calluses are not severe, you may want to first soak your feet for approximately 10 to 20 minutes in warm water, then gently file the foot with a foot file and buff it with a pumice stone. Remember to never cut the calluses away with a file or any other sharp tool; it is necessary to gently file them down over the course of a few weeks or months to avoid cutting the skin, which could potentially lead to damage and infection. In addition, if the callus is cut away instead of removed gently, it may simply return even tougher than it was previously.
After buffing the feet with a pumice stone, apply a thick moisturizer, and put socks on. It is best to do this before bed, so the moisturizer can soak into the feet all night. This process may be done approximately once a week. To maintain the softer skin of the feet, buff them with a pumice stone a few days a week after you get out of the shower, and apply moisturizer. Receiving regular pedicures at a salon may also help remove calluses.
Another way to choose the best methods for callus removal is to browse the relevant section at the drugstore. Many stores sell medicated pads, lotions, or drops that will typically contain salicylic acid. The salicylic acid will penetrate the layer of dead skin of top of the callus, and help it to disappear. If the calluses cause pain, or are otherwise impossible to get rid of, it may be necessary to visit the podiatrist for treatment.
Instead of removing the calluses, you can also try to prevent them in the first place. Remember to wear shoes that fit well and do not put pressure on any specific area of the feet. Be sure to practice good posture when walking. Wear work gloves when working with tools or outside to prevent calluses on the hands.