Calluses are a common foot problem and can be unsightly and uncomfortable. This guide will show you how to safely and effectively remove calluses, the best tools to use, and recommendations for your foot health.

What are calluses?

The term calluses refer to hard, thick patches of skin. They are most likely to appear on your feet's bottom, your heel, big toe, along the side, and the ball of your foot. These are all bony areas that carry your weight or where the more friction occurs from your shoes. Calluses are also common on hands.


Causes of Calluses / Callus formation

Callus is thickened skin that forms on the hands and feet to protect them from friction. The development of calluses can be attributed to repeated rubbing, irritation, and pressure on the ski.

There are many environmental factors that can cause callus, such as:

  • Doing manual labor or activities that involve repetitive motions with your hands or feet.

  • Having dry skin or an injury to the area.

  • Having a medical condition like diabetes can cause nerve damage in your hands and feet.

  • Using certain types of shoes, such as high heels or flip-flops, can cause calluses on the balls of your feet.

Remove calluses

There are many different ways to remove calluses. Some tools used in the past or currently that we do not recommend are pumice stones, graters and razors. You can also get a pedicure from a licensed professional, who can reduce the calluses for you.

Pumice stones can be found at most drugstores and supermarkets. They come in many different shapes and sizes and can only be used for personal, at-home use. Salons cannot clean and disinfect these tools appropriately to use on multiple clients. 

One way that pumice stones work is by removing the top layer of your skin or dead skin cells when you rub it against your foot's callus area with pressure.

This will break down the thick layer of skin but does not leave a smooth finish. 

How To Prevent Calluses From Forming Again

As already mentioned, calluses are protective layers of skin that form on the hands, feet and other areas that are subjected to friction. They can build up from repetitive activities such as typing or running. So to prevent them from forming again, you need to get rid of what is causing them.

If you wear poorly fitting shoes, replace them. If they were caused by certain activities, you might want to get protective clothing like gloves or different socks to prevent calluses from forming in the future.

How do I permanently get rid of calluses?

There are many ways to get rid of calluses, but it is important to know what type you have. If you have a hard callus that is not painful and doesn't bother you much, then it may be best to just try a different type of moisturizing product like Podoexpert foot foam.

Calluses can be uncomfortable and sometimes painful, but they're not usually serious health problems unless they're caused by an underlying condition like diabetes. If you have calluses on your hands or feet, there are some things you can do to take care of them.

  1. Wash your hands or feet with soap and water.

  2. Gently file or exfoliate the rough, dry skin and dead skin cells to remove surface debris and smooth the area.

  3. Apply a moisturizing cream, lotion, or salve to soften the skin and help it heal faster.

Can the formation of calluses be prevented?

Yes. One way to prevent calluses is to avoid pressure and friction on the skin. Ways to do this include using cushioned gloves when exercising, alternating the sides of your feet when you walk, and avoiding tight-fitting shoes.

Another way to prevent calluses is by keeping your skin moisturized. This will help keep the skin more pliable and less likely to form a callus. Apply a moisturizer after bathing and before bedtime. Look for a moisturizer that contains urea, lactic acid, or glycerin, which are all humectants that will help retain moisture in the skin.

Treat areas that are prone to the formation of callused skin on a regular basis.

  1. Moisturize regularly

  2. Use an exfoliating scrub

  3. Use a pumice stone

  4. Soak your feet in warm water with Epsom salts

Should you remove your calluses?

Whether or not you should remove your calluses is a personal decision. However, there are some things to keep in mind if you're thinking about removing them.

Calluses form as a response to friction and pressure - usually from activities like walking, running, or dancing. They're basically the body's way of protecting the skin. If you remove calluses and do not change the factors that led to them (such as improper fitting footwear) you can expect the calluses to return with time.

There are different methods of removing calluses, and some are more aggressive than others. If you're not careful, you could end up injuring yourself in the process. So, if you decide to remove your calluses, be sure to do so safely and carefully. And remember that they may come back - particularly if you continue doing the activities that caused them in the first place.

How do you get rid of calluses on your feet without a pumice stone?

There are a number of ways to remove calluses on your feet without using a pumice stone.

One way is to soften calluses and your feet in warm water for 10 minutes, then use a foot file or stiff brush to remove the dead skin.

You can also apply Podoexpert Callus Softener to the area for 2-3 minutes before exfoliating to expedite the process. You do not need to run this product off and it is safe for people with diabetes.

Removing calluses: What methods are there?

A callus is not a serious condition, but it can be painful and irritating. Fortunately, most of them are easy to remove. Calluses always form where the skin is exposed to most pressure - as self-protection of the feet. The thicker the hardened skin layer becomes, the easier it tears and might even bleed. Pathogens can also penetrate the skin through minor wounds and cause inflammation. Therefore it is best if calluses are removed regularly.

Which callus removers are available:

Foot files can do an excellent job in the fight against excess calluses.

Hard skin on the feet can be removed with a special rasp. They are suitable for regular use or for people with a thick callus layer.

On the other hand, callus planes should not be used because they often remove too much callus and expose a more deep, sensitive layer of skin and dead skin. In addition, the blade can easily slip and injure surrounding areas of the skin.

pumice stone is gentler and gently rubs dry skin away.

(Personal use only.)

The callus sponge also gently removes calluses. (Personal use only.)

If the feet are only slightly calloused, foot scrubs with abrasive particles can sometimes be enough.

Those who shy away from tools such as files can tackle the callus with special ointments. Many of these products contain salicylic acid. It softens the calluses, especially in higher concentrations. The calluses can then be rubbed off with a towel, for example.

Applying appropriate creams and lotions only to the callus and protecting the surrounding skin from the acid with a bit of fat cream is essential.

Callus socks and plasters

Salicylic acid can also be used in liquid form and as a patch. The latter are worn for three to four days. After this time, the callus is usually so soft that it can easily be rubbed off with a rough towel.

Another form of administration is so-called callus socks - but they are not for the faint of heart! The socks are worn for 60 minutes. In the following 14 days, the calluses on the feet slowly dissolve.

It is better to wear closed shoes during this time and protect your feet from sunlight as they become more sensitive. However, according to the producing companies, you should not use callus socks more often than once a month.

Dry feet thoroughly

After removing the callus, cleanse and dry the feet. Keep the spaces between the toes dry since this area is prone to fungal infection.

Take good care of your skin after removing calluses.

After the callus has been removed with a file or pumice stone, the skin of your feet needs more care. Creams with the active ingredient urea are a real treat for rough, cracked feet. Due to its moisture-binding properties, it is mainly added to creams and ointments to care for dehydrated and itchy skin. The effect can be intensified if you slip into cotton socks after applying your chosen lotion.

Can deep calluses be removed?

Yes, even deep calluses, corns, or other infected areas can be treated and removed. It is best to leave any painful foot conditions to professionals and not try any DIY treatments on them. In severe cases, consult a a podiatrist.

Should I try to treat my calluses myself? When should I see a medical foot care specialist?

You can take good care of your feet yourself between spa and nail appointments.

However, in special cases, it is advisable to consult a podiatrist or a nail professional who specializes in pedicures. This is the case, for example, if a pronounced callus has formed on the feet or if you suffer from a wound-healing disorder, for example, in connection with diabetic foot syndrome or vascular occlusion. In such cases, even minor injuries sometimes do not heal. It is, therefore, better to seek medical foot care.

January 04, 2023 — April Forrest