Have you ever found a rather unattractive thick raised pad of the skin on some part of your foot? Welcome to the world of calluses! In layman’s terms, a callosity is a section of the skin that becomes toughened due to regular friction or pressure.
The most common cause of callus’s forming is regular walking, running or spending long periods of time on your feet. Basically your skin is trying to protect that area from regular pressure or rubbing, and reacting by toughening that part of the skin.
These are typically formed beneath the toes, on the heels and balls of the feet – areas which bear maximum pressure during your day. Calluses are not usually painful, sometimes they can be irritating, or at worst, become sore. However, be careful to distinguish calluses from corns which are smaller in size, have a hard center and are painful when pressed. The best way to painlessly and quickly remove them is by using an electronic foot file
What Causes A Callus to Form?
As mentioned earlier, any repeated friction or pressure will end up in the skin reacting to the stimulus and creating a thickened pad of tough, rough and drier skin.
Common causes are:
- Badly fitting shoes – Sometimes, shoes might be too tight (thereby creating pressure) or even too loose (creating friction). Either way, ill fitting shoes rub against the skin, forming calluses. Sometimes, a badly placed join or seam on the shoe, or even very high heels can stimulate a foot callus. Check out or top picks for the best shoes for men and women.
- Socks – Why just shoes, even socks can end up forming calluses. If socks are too tight, or when no socks are worn, certain parts of the feet may get rubbed excessively. Check out our selection of the best socks.
- Odd gait for walking or running – Another typical cause of toughened, raised areas of skin an unusual action style creating pressure on areas of the feet
- Barefoot – Walking barefoot on rough surfaces can end up causing calluses as well
In effect, any part of the body which gets repeatedly rubbed is prone to forming a callus. So beware!
What’s The Best Way To Treat Calluses
Thankfully these ugly patches can be treated! If calluses on your feet grew in response to ill fitting shoes or socks, replacing them with a more comfortable fit often solves the problem. That’s the simple solution! Sometimes, it also helps to wear specially designed protective pads that prevent further friction on a daily basis.
However, if they are a persistent and painful problem affecting you, then alternate solutions are needed.
Electronic foot files
These powerful devices work by using coarse rollers, often encrusted with micro minerals which spin rapidly to buff away dead skin in minutes. They can be battery operated or corded and are very easy to use. The battery operated models use rechargeable batteries, making them portable. You can give your feet a pedicure treat in the comfort of your home without expensive visits to the salon.
The top brands such as Amope, Emjoi or Naturalico are available at very affordably prices and the fastest way to remove calluses. These devices are fitted with coarse rollers which come in a range of coarseness. Some rollers are even encrusted with diamond dust! The rollers are replaceable. These types of callus removers are by far the most popular as they make life easy!
Using a pedicure rasp
Another common way to remove calluses is by gently rasping or filing the affected area with a pedicure rasp. These designs feature a hygienic stainless steel face with an ergonomically shaped handle for comfort. They are an inexpensive option.
It’s a good idea to first soften the skin by soaking feet in warm water. A little apple cider vinegar, or even bathing salts mixed in works wonders. These rasps are inexpensive and can be tucked away in your purse.
A pumice stone
This works very well to buff away small areas of rough skin as well. A pumice stone work best when the skin is moist, so in the shower or after soaking your feet for 20 to 30 minutes.
It is important to use these tools gently – if the action causes pain, stop immediately. As an alternative, you can visit a podiatrist specialist for professional advice.
Using gels or peels
There are plenty of gels or peels specifically designed to help in removing the really large, super tough patches of thick skin. These gels normally contain Salicylic acid and Potassium hydroxide which are very effective in softening calluses, or even peeling away affected cells.
For safety, it’s advisable to read the instructions carefully before using. Typical time for application of these gels is about 3 – 5 minutes.
After you have treated your feet using an electronic foot file, rasp or gel, wash the fresh soft skin to reduce any chances of infection. After you have dried your feet off, it’s a good idea to smooth on a rich moisturizer to pamper your feet. Sometimes, when calluses persistently appear, podiatrists may prescribe special orthotic shoes, ensuring feet are comfortably protected enough to prevent the formation of callouses.
Prevention Is Better Than A Cure
As they say, prevention is better than a cure. While it’s not a difficult process to remove callosities, why let them appear in the first place? Typical daily measures go a long way in caring for your feet.
- Change socks everyday – Wearing fresh comfortable socks ensures you provide a healthy, clean environment for your feet. Make sure the socks don’t have ridged join in the seams, and are made from breathable fibers.
- Wear comfortable shoes – If your shoes are uncomfortable, throw them out. The long term damage they can inflict isn’t worth the short term pain! If you plan to buy a new pair, buy them in the afternoon as by then your feet have swelled and are just that bit larger. Make sure you have your feet professionally measured and choose the right sized pair of shoes to suit the occasion. It’s worth taking the time to try on a few pairs to get just the right fit to keep your feet comfortable and happy throughout the day.
- Keep your feet clean by washing them everyday. Treating your feet to a soothing foot bath once a week for 30 mins with some relaxing essential oils and Epsom Salts keeps skin supple and soft. Slather on a good quality moisturizer afterwards, to keep skin baby smooth. A tip here, if you have a footbath in the eyeing, smooth on a mineral and vitamin filled cream designed to nourish feet and wear socks to bed. Your feet will feel great in the morning!
- Keep your feet moisturized as dry skin is more likely to form a protective callus. And follow the steps above
- Use a pumice stone or a foot file regularly (and gently!) to keep the skin smooth and soft. Prevention is far better than a cure.
Stopping Calluses On Your Feet
Calluses are not harmful, but they certainly look unattractive, can cause discomfort and be expensive to treat if you choose regular salon visits to remove them. Often we take great care of the rest of our body and our feet are sometimes forgotten.
Walking, running, being on your feet all day at work, physical issues and the wrong shoes make our feet work hard. A callus is your body’s way of warning you something is not right as it forms a natural protective pad against regular friction. By being proactive and practicing foot self care on a regular basis, you’ll be rewarded with skin which is smooth and attractive, no calluses in sight.