Think of a callus like a deadbeat roommate: occasionally, they’re useful as a buffer against the outside world, but mostly, you just want to get rid of them.
Fortunately, it’s easier to remove a callus than it is to evict a roommate. You just need the right products and regimen, and a little patience.
So the next time your feet blister over and harden into a mound of thick, dead skin…we’re here for you. These pointers will have you back on your feet in no time.
Soak the callus nightly
Every night, soak your foot in a bucket of warm water and baking soda – this will break down the dead skin cells and soften the callus. You can also take an Epsom salt bath, to soothe the skin as it softens.
Either way, it’s important to dry the skin entirely after a soak. While the warm water helps, lingering moisture can lead to fungal infection.
Slap some lactic acid on it
Before bed, rub a lactic-acid foot cream on your dry, callused skin to break down the dead cells overnight. Your body goes into hyperactive regeneration mode while you sleep, so it’s important to do this just before tucking in.
Try putting on a sock after applying it, so that you don’t start accumulating gunk from the floor on your just-nourished feet. And don’t worry about moisture here – this cream absorbs quickly and fully, even if it’s under the sheets or inside a sock.
Get a callus remover
In the morning, before showering, take an electric callus remover to your callus. You’ll see dead skin fly off like powder – it’s gross, but it’s also soothing, like watching a pimple pop. Do this just enough to smooth the surface of the skin.
It’s only intended to remove the excess bulk, and if you apply the spinning grater too long, you might break the skin. Follow this with a warm shower then dry off.
Once the callus is gone, you’ll still want to deploy some nightly footcare. Grab a nutrient-rich product which will soothe and soften your skin. If and when you get another callus, you can bring the lactic acid cream back into rotation.
Have your feet examined
If you’re consistently getting blisters and calluses on your feet, it might be because you’re wearing shoes that don’t fit properly, or that don’t work with your foot’s curvature. See a podiatrist to have your foot examined. They can tell you if you have a supinated, neutral or pronated footprint.
With this knowledge you can buy shoes that favor your foot’s predilection, thus preventing blistering. This will be especially useful and life-changing for athletes.
Calluses can take weeks to heal. So, while going about your life, ease the strain by applying a callus cushion to the mass. It will absorb any pressure, both alleviating pain and preventing growth.
Once you’re in the clear, it’s a good idea to swap your standard insoles, particularly in athletic shoes, for some cushioned inserts to help absorb the strain from each step, and thus prevent another callus from rearing its thick, ugly head.