Why Should I Remove Calluses?

Christina Edwards

Generally, calluses are only removed if they are cracked, painful, or very thick. Cracked calluses should be removed by a medical professional to prevent them from getting infected. Painful calluses, on the other hand, can make walking difficult. If your calluses are very thick, you should remove them at home, since they can become painful or cracked. To remove calluses at home safely, you should first soak your feet in warm water before rubbing them with a coarse pumice stone.

A pumice stone, which can be used to remove calluses.
A pumice stone, which can be used to remove calluses.

Calluses are thick areas of skin usually caused by constant friction or pressure. They typically occur on the bottoms of the feet. These thickened layers of skin usually help protect the affected area from irritations, but they can become painful or cracked.

Removing calluses from the feet can make them feel smoother, may eliminate pain, and can also help reduce the chance that they will crack and become infected.
Removing calluses from the feet can make them feel smoother, may eliminate pain, and can also help reduce the chance that they will crack and become infected.

Painful calluses are usually caused by the thick, hardened layers of skin pushing into the softer tissues underneath. This foot pain can often make it very difficult to walk. If your calluses cause you pain, they should be removed.

It's best to use a foot soak before removing calluses on the feet.
It's best to use a foot soak before removing calluses on the feet.

You will usually be able to remove painful calluses at home. If the area is still tender or sore after you remove them, however, you should consider seeing a medical professional. The pain could be caused by a more serious problem.

Callus lotion.
Callus lotion.

Sometimes, calluses can also start to crack. Any open wounds, including cracks, can create an opportunity for bacteria and other micro-organisms to enter the body. This can often cause an infection, which usually requires antibiotics to treat.

Calluses may be caused by ill fitting shoes.
Calluses may be caused by ill fitting shoes.

Attempting to remove calluses that have started to crack by yourself can result in more bacteria getting into these open wounds, as well as further injury. Instead, you should consider seeing a medical professional, such as a podiatrist. He will often be able to remove calluses safely and painlessly.

A callus may be defined as a patch of hard, rough skin that may develop due to friction.
A callus may be defined as a patch of hard, rough skin that may develop due to friction.

If your calluses are simply thick, you should still consider removing them. Very thick calluses are not only unattractive and rough, but they will also usually become painful and crack, particularly if they get very dry. You can use a few tools to remove calluses, like razors, metal files, and pumice stones. Doctors usually advise against using razors, however, since these can cause deep cuts if they are used improperly.

Before you remove calluses, they should first be softened. This can be done by soaking the affected area in warm water for several minutes. After the area is removed from the water, it should be rubbed with a callus file or a pumice stone. When using these pedicure tools, it is important not to rub too hard, as this can remove too much skin. After the sloughed off skin has been removed, you should also apply a thick moisturizer.

Most calluses need not be removed, unless for cosmetic reasons or they become painful or cracked.
Most calluses need not be removed, unless for cosmetic reasons or they become painful or cracked.

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Discussion Comments

fBoyle

Removing calluses early is important. If they thicken, they become painful. I had that happen to me once. I couldn't even walk due to the pain. It was awful.

stoneMason

@ysmina-- Extremely thick calluses may require the help of a professional. Some salons do remove them but make sure that the salon follows hygiene rules closely. Otherwise, you can easily pick up a foot infection from common tools that are used on many customers. You can also see your doctor about it.

The time spent in the shower may not be enough to soften calluses. You may want to soak them for up to an hour in hot water first. Or use a callus cream. These creams soften calluses so that they can be removed more easily. Using them regularly can help get rid of your calluses and also prevent them in the future.

I don't recommend using razors or scraping tools to remove calluses. It's easy to scrape too deep. Skin can easily get infected that way, even if you do it yourself at home.

ysmina

I need to do something about my calluses. They're not painful. They just look terrible. I feel ashamed to wear sandals.

Unfortunately, a pumice stone doesn't seem to be doing the trick. I use it every time in the shower but my calluses look the same. Do I have to go to the doctor or to a salon to have them removed?

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