Most people will deal with calluses on their feet at some point in their lives. Whether you cycle on your bike daily, log multiple miles on the track every week, or just find yourself going on walks often, it is likely that your typical movement patterns can lead to calluses.
Foot calluses are caused by repetitive friction on a certain part of the foot, most often due to a part of the shoe rubbing against the skin. They will most commonly form at the heel, at the balls of the feet, or on the sides of the big toes or pinky toes. In the affected spot, the outer layer of skin dies. That dead skin builds up to create a rough, hard surface.
While calluses on the feet can be a nuisance, they actually serve an important role and are the result of a natural bodily response. Calluses are the body’s way of providing cushioning that protects the skin underneath. They typically don’t cause any pain, but they do require maintenance and treatment. If left untouched, calluses can become too thick and possibly dry out. This can lead to ripped skin, which can be painful and may even keep you off your feet.
If you are dealing with calluses on your feet, you will need to create a treatment plan to take care of them and to prevent any ripping. Thankfully, callus treatment is fairly straightforward and doesn’t require a ton of money or time. These are some of the treatment options you can use to safely take care of any calluses on your feet.
Use a Pumice Stone
Pumice stones provide an easy and gentle way for you to treat your calluses and exfoliate some of the dead skin away. Pumice stones work best on soft, damp skin, so you can use one after a shower, or after soaking your feet in warm water for at least 5 minutes.
Once your skin is soft, take the pumice stone, and gently glide it across any thick calluses in a circular or side-to-side motion. Knock off any built-up skin if needed as you are going through the process. Rinse the stone once done, and repeat the process again if you get anymore callus build-up that needs to be treated.
When looking for a pumice stone, be sure to look for a high-quality option that will help your skin in the best way possible. Drugstore options are typically made with added synthetic ingredients, so read labels closely when shopping around. The natural pumice stone is free of these synthetic ingredients. It is irregularly-shaped and more porous than your typical drugstore find, meaning it is more abrasive and much more durable and long-lasting.
Use a Callus Shaver
A callus shaver is another tool that helps get rid of some of the dead skin. Callus shavers work great on dry skin, as it gives you more control over exactly how much you are shaving off. You simply drag the tool across the affected area, knocking out any dead skin that gets caught in the blades along the way. You can keep this tool to use anytime you notice calluses on your feet that need attention.
While first-time users may be a bit wary of this tool, it is safe and pain-free. Since the skin is dead, the tool won’t cause any pain on the feet. The w.o.d.welder Callus Shaver also provides extra security. It is built with a safety guard, so you don’t have to worry about hitting any of the soft skin that sits underneath the callus.
Padding your calluses is a great way to prevent them from getting irritated (and possibly ripping) during any physical activity. Take a piece of moleskin (which you can find at your local drugstore) and cut it into a circle. Cut out a smaller circle in the center (so that it looks like a doughnut). Place the moleskin on your callus, and your skin will be protected during your physical activity.
Another easy way to pad and protect your calluses is to simply wear a thicker pair of socks during any physical activity. Thick socks will prevent old calluses from getting irritated and will stop potential calluses in their tracks.
Give moisturizer for your feet a permanent spot in your medicine cabinet. In order to keep the skin hydrated and free of callus rips, apply your moisturizer to your feet on a daily basis. The w.o.d.welder Hands as Rx Cream is a great moisturizer for both your hands and feet. The cream is rich but fast-absorbing, so it’ll give your feet the moisture they need without leaving them feeling sticky. For the best results, you can apply a coat and then put on a pair of socks. This helps seal in the moisture and will keep the product from transferring to the ground or your sheets.
There are a few steps you can take to prevent new calluses from forming on your feet.
- The first is to pick out footwear that properly fit—especially when it comes to athletic shoes. Get help from a sales associate who can properly measure your feet for you, and go with shoes that aren’t too loose or too tight around your feet.
- Another tip is to keep your toenails trimmed, especially if you are prone to calluses on the sides of your toes. Longer toenails can apply pressure to your toes, pressing them against the side of your shoes and causing friction along the skin. Maintain your toenails at a shorter level to keep them from interfering.
While calluses on your feet can be a nuisance, know that they are easy to take care of. Create a callus treatment plan that works best for your unique needs based on the recommendations above, and you’ll be able to keep your feet in the best shape possible.