Walking with a callus can be painful, but you can try these at-home remedies to rid you of the discomfort.
If you’ve ever walked with a callus at the bottom of your foot, you’re familiar with the pain it causes! Calluses usually form on the feet or hands, and they can also appear as patches of flaky skin.
Calluses develop on the feet due to prolonged irritation from ill-fitting shoes, walking barefoot, or wearing shoes without socks. If you have bunions (bony growths at the base of the big toe) or hammertoes (an abnormal bend in the middle of the toe), you stand a greater chance of developing calluses. In most cases, calluses respond well to at-home treatments and only require medical intervention if the callus becomes infected. Here are remedies you can try at home to get rid of a painful callus.
Six ways to get rid of a callus at home
A callus develops to protect the layer of skin underneath it from constant irritation. Calluses are similar to corns, except corns are smaller and have a hard center around the affected area. Both can be painful if you walk on them all day.
Calluses usually don’t necessitate a trip to the podiatrist unless an infection is present. Avoid attempting to cut the callus out with a razor or sharp utensils, as this can break the skin and lead to an infection. Instead, these six at-home treatments can reduce the pain and eliminate the callus.
Soak in warm water. A 20-minute soak in warm water softens the skin so you can gently peel away the layers of the callus. Add two to three tablespoons of Epsom salt to the basin to further loosen the skin for easier removal. Another option is mixing the warm water with two to three tablespoons of lemon juice and then adding baking soda a few minutes later. The combination may dissolve the callus faster.
Apply a callus pad. These pads cover the callus as it heals. You can buy over-the-counter non-medicated callus pads made of felt, silicone, or an adhesive. Be aware some pads contain salicylic acid, which may be harmful to the skin and not recommended for people with underlying medical conditions.
Rub with a pumice stone. In a circular motion, gently rub away the dead skin. However, don’t scrape away too much skin as that could lead to an infection.
Moisturize your foot. Adding a moisturizer to your routine can help soften the calluses. You can apply a lotion containing salicylic acid, ammonium lactate, or urea. You can also use one without those ingredients. To combine a warm soak with a moisturizer, add five tablespoons of castor oil to the water and dip your foot into the mixture.
Wear proper-fitting shoes. Too tight or too loose shoes lead to callus-causing friction. Always wear shoes that fit correctly and wear socks to prevent irritation.
Visit a podiatrist. If at-home remedies fail to dissolve the callus, you may need to visit a podiatrist for professional treatment. A callus that bleeds, seeps pus, or changes colors indicates a possible infection and should be treated by a podiatrist.
The best measure you can take to prevent calluses is to wear shoes that fit correctly and don’t cause irritation. Avoid walking barefoot, and put on cushioned socks and slippers when you walk around the house to protect the bottom of your feet. Keep your feet moisturized and regularly rub with a pumice stone to remove dead skin.
Alamitos-Seal Beach Podiatry Group has helped hundreds of patients walk without the pain of calluses. We can prescribe treatments for your calluses and recommend preventative tips to keep your feet smooth and pain-free. We also treat other foot disorders. Contact us today for a consultation.
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Fill out the form below to reach Alamitos – Seal Beach Podiatry Group, or call Los Alamitos: (562) 203-6151 or Seal Beach: (562) 242-1559 for immediate assistance.