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There are a number of techniques which can be used to prevent and get rid of calluses on your feet. These techniques also apply to calluses on your hands, knees, and elbows. Be aware that if your calluses are caused by an underlying condition such as a bone spur, you should treat the condition as well as the callus, or the calluses will keep reforming.
Prevention of calluses starts with your shoes. Take the time to get shoes which are properly fitted, as poorly fitting shoes can lead to calluses. Your shoes should be snug but not tight, and they should be wide enough to accommodate your feet. Ideally, you should also wear flat shoes, as heels put pressure on the ball of your foot, which can lead to callus formation. Take the time to find a good liner for your shoes as well, and wear insulating socks. Athletic shoes should also be purchased with care.
Several companies make shoe liners which are designed to get rid of calluses, corns, and bunions. Moleskin is a common material for such liners, and you can also purchase strips or patches of moleskin to put on your feet before slipping into a pair of shoes. Be careful when using patches and pads, as they can apply uneven pressure to your foot, which can cause more calluses to form. Some doctors also recommend the avoidance of medicated pads for calluses in favor of less intrusive home remedies.
To get rid of calluses on your feet, start with a long soaking. Fill a tub with warm water and Epsom salts, essential oils, or even tea. These substances help to soften your skin for the next step: filing. Use a pumice stone or a foot file to gently file away at your callus, lifting the dead skin and stimulating fresh growth underneath. If the callus is especially large, do not try to take it all off at once. After filing, moisturize your feet with a rich intensive moisturizer like petroleum jelly.
There are a few other tricks you can use to soften your skin before filing to get rid of calluses. Try making a paste of aspirin and lemon juice and applying it to your calluses before wrapping your feet in a damp towel. Relax for 10 to 20 minutes while the paste works into your skin, and then rinse it off and file your feet. If you do this in the evening, pull on a pair of lightweight cotton socks after your moisturize, and wear your socks to bed to promote deep moisturization of your feet while you sleep.
If you want to get rid of calluses on places like your elbows and knees, use the same soaking, filing, and moisturizing technique. You can also reduce callus formation by wearing knee pads for tasks like gardening. Try to fight patches of dry, rough skin and calluses early, before they develop into major problems.