What are the Different Types of Callus Remover?

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  • Written By: Erin J. Hill
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
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  • Last Modified Date: 26 November 2019
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There are several different types of callus remover to either help file away or soften calluses on the feet, elbows, and other areas where the skin has become rough and thick. Rasps, files, and lotions or balms are common options, with each one being suited for various levels of severity. Before choosing between any of the different types of callus remover, it is important to look into each option and start by using the gentlest method first. This will help avoid injury or discomfort that may result when used on skin that is not thick enough.

A callus rasp is a device, generally made from metal with a plastic handle, that contains several small blades which can be used to slowly cut away rough or dead skin. This option is generally used on the bottoms of feet where calluses are usually most severe. Rasps are almost always the most effective method for removing large or extremely thick calluses but are not appropriate for more delicate skin, such as that found on the back of elbows.


Files and artificial filing stones are two more different types of callus remover. These can be used on the bottoms of feet, and sometimes on elbows if done gently and if the callus is severe enough. Both filing methods gently wear away layers of the skin in order to remove the callus and expose the healthy skin underneath. This method generally takes several weeks of nightly filing before results can be seen, but for mild or moderate calluses filing may be the perfect method for removal.

Mild calluses may be removed by using one of many different types of callus remover lotions, balms, and creams. There are dozens of commercial products on the market that are meant to soften calluses and rough patches in order to make the skin healthy again. Most times, this method is not effective when used alone, but files and rasps are often much more effective when used in combination with a lotion. The cream helps to soften the top layer of dead skin, making it easier to remove, and then it helps to make the skin underneath healthy as the callus disappears.

Callus remover tools should not be shared among friends or family. In rare occasions, blood may be drawn if the area is filed too often or too abrasively, making sharing of utensils unsanitary. A combination of different types of callus remover methods may be needed to fully remove rough skin and dry patches. Discontinue any methods which cause irritation.


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