How to Care for Your Feet If You Have Calluses

Health Writer
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Calluses can range from annoying to painful, from almost invisible to unsightly. And some people find calluses appear more often during the summer months, when they go barefoot or wear flip-flops and sandals without socks. In any case, people would much rather do without them.

What are calluses?

Calluses are round, raised patches of skin that form to help protect your feet from irritation. They’re essentially a thickening of the skin as dead skin cells build up. Rough and dull in appearance, they can appear anywhere but are most commonly found on the soles of the feet or sometimes the palms of your hand — basically sites where repeated pressure or friction occurs, such as constant rubbing against the inside of your shoe or walking barefoot over rough terrain.

People with foot deformities or hammer toes are more prone to developing calluses.

Preventing calluses

_Some preventive measures you can take to avoid developing calluses include: _

  • Wearing well-fitting shoes
  • Avoiding wearing high heels
  • Using non-medicated pads over areas that are prone to pressure or rubbing
  • Soaking your feet in warm water for up to 10 minutes. You can use a washcloth or pumice stone gently rub to remove dead skin cells and reduce skin build up
  • Applying moisturizer daily to help soften hard calluses
  • Using inserts in your shoes to evenly redistribute pressure or relieve pressure from certain areas

What you can do

_Should you develop calluses, the ways you can treat them at home are: _

  • Soaking your feet in warm water for up to ten minutes. You can use a washcloth or pumice stone gently rub to remove dead skin cells and reduce skin build up
  • Applying moisturizer daily to help soften hard calluses
  • Using medicated patches that contain salicylic acid. Be sure to follow the instructions on the package.
  • Wearing comfortable, padded shoes with socks until the callus has disappeared
  • Never use a razor, knife or other sharp object to remove skin from your callus. This can cause your callus to bleed and become infected.

Calluses often shrink in size or disappear once the pressure or friction has been alleviated.

When to see a doctor

If your calluses become painful, make an appointment to see a podiatrist. People with diabetes or poor feet circulation have a higher risk for developing calluses these conditions can lead to other serious problems.

While most calluses don’t require any medical treatment, calluses can sometimes become painful and some of the ways your doctor can help include:

  • Trimming excess skin or dead skin cells
  • Using medication to soften and remove calluses. Medicated patches are available without a prescription, but if these don’t work, your doctor can provide additional instructions for using the patch or provide a prescription for salicylic gel.
  • Prescription orthotic custom inserts to prevent further calluses

If you have significant pain, your doctor might treat it with cortisone injections. Surgery for calluses is a last resort option and is rarely necessary. It’s sometimes used to correct the alignment of the bone that’s causing the friction.

See more helpful articles:

Tips for Keeping Your Feet Pretty During the Winter Months

Treatment Options for Foot Pain: How to Care for Our Feet

Diabetic Foot Care And The Fashionable Shoe Challenge

Sources:

Corns and Calluses: American Podiatric Medical Association

How to Treat Corns and Calluses: American Academy of Dermatology