Calluses are typically not serious, but can cause discomfort or sometimes even pain, due to the pressure exerted on the underlying tissues by the thickened lump of skin. In order to keep or restore your personal comfort it is important to treat your calluses.

Remove calluses

  • Step 1: soften the callus – Calluses are very thick and stiff so it is recommended to first soften them up. You can achieve this by soaking the affected part (typically your hand or your foot) in warm and soapy water. Adding Epsom salts in the soaking solution might have an additive effect. You can also use commercially available exfoliating creams to soften the skin. Another option is to use over-the-counter liquids or ointments containing salicylic acid, which helps to dissolve the keratin structure that makes up the dead skin. These treatments should only be used cautiously as the salicylic acid might irritate the surrounding healthy skin.  You can also use COMPEED® Callus plasters. They contain an active gel (hydrocolloid technology), which provides moisture while protecting and cushioning the callus. They will relieve discomfort or pain should you be experiencing any.
  • Step 2: File the callus with a pumice stone or foot file. – Once the callus is softened, you can file it with a pumice stone. Dip the pumice stone in the water and then gently remove the dead skin by circular or sideways motions. You can also use a foot file as an exfoliating tool. Pay attention not to remove too much skin as this might cause bleeding and infection. Instead rather remove only small amounts and repeat the action regularly until the corn disappears.
  • Step 3: keep your skin moisturized – After filing the callus, it is important to moisturize the trimmed skin in order to keep it soft. Any skin lotion will do the job. Applying a COMPEED® Callus plaster will help to keep the callus wound moisturized and help speed up healing.

Prevent calluses from developing and avoid re-occurence

To avoid calluses on the feet, you need to reduce the point of pressure and rubbing on your feet and hands.

Limit yourself as much as possible from wearing shoes that alter your weight distribution such as high-heeled or high-arched shoes. If your job requires of you to wear stylish shoes (i.e. not ergonomic) try to take some of the pressure off your feet by walking to and from the office in well-fitting athletic shoes. Try to decrease heel height as much as possible.

Take care of you shoes by repairing them or replacing them regularly. Worn-out soles typically are not very good at cushioning your feet. Also if you notice that the soles or heels of your shoes tend to wear unevenly, you might want to talk to an orthopedist or podiatrist about corrective shoes or insoles.

Calluses can happen on hands, so wearing protective, maybe padded gloves can help if you use tools.

If your job requires of you to wear stylish shoes (i.e. not ergonomic) try to take some of the pressure off your feet by walking to and from the office in well-fitting athletic shoes.

When should I seek medical advice?

If the callus is very painful, or if you have diabetes, fragile skin, or circulatory problems, it is best to consult a doctor or a podiatrist, who is specialized in foot care.

A foot or posture specialist may help correct abnormal gait by checking your footwear or identify an underlying bone structure problem. In the latter case, you may be referred to undergo an X-Ray or even a surgical procedure.

A podiatrist, or foot doctor, may remove some of the hard skin using a scalpel. Do not attempt to do this at home.

If there is infection or a risk of infection, the doctor may prescribe an antibiotic ointment. Red and swollen skin around the callus can indicate an infection.