I remember being a young child watching my late mother soak and scrape her feet with a razor blade and asking, “Mom, what are you doing?”
After her response, which usually varied from, “I’m soaking my feet to, boy, leave me alone right now, I would go on my merry way to play with whatever 1970s to I had lying around at the time.
To make a long story short, as I began entering my 30s, I myself, developed calluses as well – one on the heel of my left foot and the other on the ball of my right. After coming to grips with the initial mild shock I asked my personal physician what could be done to alleviate the recurring condition.
After he told me, “Eric, it’s a lifetime sentence,” he began explaining to me everything I’ve ever wanted to know about calluses.
Having said that, I am now a certified callus “expert.” Here’s everything you’ve ever wanted to know about calluses.
What is a callus?
A callus is an area of thick skin that forms at areas where there is a lot of repeated pressure for a long period of time. The skin hardens from the pressure over time and eventually thickens, forming a hard tough layer of a yellowish skin surface that may feel hard and rough.
Calluses can also be a form of protection for the hands. Many athletes such as gymnasts or baseball players and even guitar players get calluses from their repeated performances.
Calluses on the feet are different however, because they can often be very can be painful because of the repeated motion of stepping on them all the time. Calluses on the feet usually form on the ball of the foot, but can also form on the outside of the big or little toe or, in my case, the heel. Tight shoes and high heels also cause calluses because they put a lot of pressure on your feet at points that aren’t used to that amount of stress.
The best way to deal with calluses is to avoid getting them altogether. To keep your feet callus free, choose your shoes wisely. One little known fact is that you should generally try to shop for shoes in the afternoon because that’s when your feet are their largest.
Because they get a little swollen from you walking on them all day. Also be sure to try on both shoes and walk around a little bit before buying them. A lot of times people slip on only one shoe and make their purchase. No matter how hot the shoes look, don’t buy them if they don’t feel right.
Even if you have a favorite pair of shoes, don’t wear them all the time. Mix it up by wearing a variety of shoes. That way, your feet will get a break and won’t always be rubbed in the same places all the time.
If any skin problem gets inflamed or looks infected, immediately go see your personal physician. However, there is only one way to generally deal with a callus. To help a callus go away faster, soak it in warm, soapy water for at least 15 minutes before proceeding with scraping the callus with a razor-like item that many manufacturers’ make specifically for scraping calluses.
After scraping the callus, to soften and smooth the rough skin, rubbing it with a pumice stone is generally the next step. There are also pads that contain salicylic acid, which also takes off the dead skin to help get rid of the callus. Shoe pads that insert into the shoe can also help relieve pressure so foot calluses can heal and all four of these items, scrapers, pumice stones and foot-pads and salicylic acid pads are all sold in pharmacies and Wal-Marts across the country.