Discover the best techniques for removing corns and calluses.
Corns and calluses are your body’s form of protection — they’re hardened layers of skin built up over a spot where there’s constant wear and friction, usually on your feet or hands. But most people don’t want to have these unsightly bumps of skin, and sometimes they can become painful. Here’s how to stop a callus from forming — or remove the ones you already have.
The easiest way to keep your hands and feet looking smooth is to avoid getting calluses and corns in the first place. Try these recommendations for preventing calluses:
• If the shoe fits… Shoes that are too tight or loose and that pinch and rub against your feet are the most common causes of calluses. Be sure you choose shoes that fit your feet well.
• Protect your feet and hands from friction. If your shoes rub in spots, wear pads or bandages to minimize friction. And when you’re doing heavy-duty, repetitive work, consider wearing gloves to keep your hands from developing calluses.
• Take care of any underlying foot problems you have. Hammertoes, bunions, and other bone deformities that change the shape of your feet make it more likely that your shoes will rub up against the skin and form corns. Visiting a podiatrist could help you avoid further complications from calluses and corns.
Home Remedies for Corns and Calluses
Most corns and calluses respond well to home treatments — though it won’t happen overnight. Follow these tips for smoother, softer feet and hands.
• Give your calluses a good soak and rub. Soaking a callus in warm water can help soften it — and a pumice stone or washcloth can be used to help scrub away a few layers of skin.
• Use protective bandages. You need to avoid further friction and rubbing on the corns or calluses, so apply a standard bandage or look for products recommended for use on calluses, like moleskins.
• Keep the corns and calluses well moisturized. A good moisturizer can help keep the thick corn or calluses soft and make it easier to wear it away with a pumice stone.
Professional Corn and Callus Cures
If you have severe calluses and corns that are causing you pain or if you have other underlying medical issues, like diabetes or circulatory issues, you should consult a doctor for advice on effective treatments. Here are some of the options available:
• Surgical techniques. Your doctor can use a scalpel to cut away some of the hardened skin.
• Medications. Salicylic acid is often used to help melt away the excess skin. You can buy over-the-counter formulations, but your doctor can use a more-potent version that can remove the callus more quickly.