A callus ointment should be of sufficient concentration and strength to be able to remove hard and dry layers of skin that have built up in response to pressure points, without causing irritation. The ointment, which contains a mild acid to break down the callus, is applied directly to the area, instead of the entire food like some lotions and creams. The ointment should not cause irritation, however some pain may be experienced as the callus breaks down. Your podiatrist can advise on the best callus ointment, however, leading brands of callus ointment are often available in drugstores.
If your callus is very bad or stubborn to remove, visit a podiatrist for treatment. A podiatrist will be able to prescribe effective ointment to treat stubborn calluses. The best callus ointment is designed to be applied directly to the callus, which differs from callus lotions or creams that can be applied to the whole foot or hand area. Callus ointment is more concentrated and must not be applied to healthy skin.
Callus ointment must soften and break down the callus. The ointment should contain a small amount of mild acid to break down the callus and remove it. It should therefore never be applied to broken, cracked or bleeding skin which should not be subjected to acid erosion. Urea is an ingredient to look for in callus ointment because it penetrates to soften hard skin on the hands and feet, and is good for moisturizing and breaking down tough hard calluses.
Expect a callus to get worse once callus ointment is applied due to its corrosive properties. As the callus is broken down some pain may be experienced, but excessive pain should not be tolerated. A good callus ointment contains natural oils and moisturizers to soften and moisturize the skin. It should also protect skin with vitamins such as vitamin E, and anti-inflammatory ingredients, such as chamomile.
The ointment should be applied two to three times daily, with application instructions clearly set out on an information sheet. Product specifications should also clearly state whether it has been dermatologically tested and explain any side effects that could be experienced. The ointment should also be suitable for diabetics, as diabetics can be particularly at risk while using medicated ointments.
Instructions should state the length of time to use the ointment, for example 12 weeks, before consulting your podiatrist. Expect your callus to be reduced in size within the time specified in the instructions, otherwise the ointment could be ineffective. Results are usually seen within seven days.