Foot Callus Remedies
A callus is a thick, hardened layer of skin usually found on the foot, particularly on the heel or ball. While the foot is by far the most common place for a callus to form, they can also develop on the knees and hands. Generally, a callus develops to protect the skin from friction and pressure. They are rarely painful, but can be unsightly. While the best treatments and remedies for calluses are performed in a doctor’s office, there are several things that can be done at home to get rid of them.
A callus is identified by a thick, rough layer of skin. It is a hard, raised bump that might have tender skin beneath it. It can appear to be dry, flaky or waxy.
The cause of a callus is simply too much pressure and friction. The buildup of a callus is a normal way for the skin to protect itself. The pressure and friction can be the result of ill fitting shoes or socks. A callus is more likely to appear in people who have foot problems, such as hammertoe, bunions, or other foot deformities such as a bony prominence. A callus on the hands can be caused by the repetitive use of tools or gardening gear while not wearing gloves or other protection.
The most effective treatment of a foot callus is performed by a podiatrist. Trimming the thickened skin of the callus with a scalpel is one of the ways the doctor can remove the callus completely. This is usually an outpatient procedure done under local anesthesia. A 40% salicylic acid patch that will eat away at the hardened skin of the callus can also be prescribed by the doctor. A pumice stone is then used to file away the dead skin. The doctor will be able to tell you how often to remove and replace the salicylic acid patch. A doctor may also prescribe an antibiotic ointment to prevent any infection that might occur, though infection is rare. In some cases, custom made shoe inserts might be ordered. These ensure proper placement of your foot in the shoe to avoid pressure and friction. If a foot deformity, such as bunions or hammertoe, contributes to the formation of a callus, then surgery might be an option.
At Home Treatments
There are several treatments that can be done at home to help remove calluses. Salicylic acid pads are available over the counter. Though they are not as strong as those used by a podiatrist, they can be effective against a minor callus. Soaking hands and feet in warm, soapy water to soften the skin and then using a pumice stone to remove the dead skin is another home treatment that has been found to be effective.
Callus prevention is simple and straightforward. Since the cause of the callus is friction and pressure, wearing well fitting and comfortable shoes is essential. It is important to wear shoes that give the toes room to wiggle. Using over-the-counter protective coverings on areas that might be affected by pressure is important. When using gardening items and power tools, wearing padded gloves and knee pads are also important methods of callus prevention.