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How can I get Rid of Calluses on my Feet?

Mary McMahon
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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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.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a The Health Board researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By Barmenturthe — On May 06, 2016

The presence of warts on any part of the body causing huge inconvenience and discomfort, but if the warts are on the soles, it is particularly frustrating because when walking, the pressure exerted on the plantar wart and pain appear. After a very short period of time, pressure and friction on the plantar wart becomes unbearable, so treatment should be mandatory. Plantar warts are treated hard, resisting persistently and during long time. Fortunately, now there is an effective treatment as a rule a painless procedure with no side effect and scarring. For example, cryotherapy. Warts are frozen by processing of liquid nitrogen or other chemical. Sick skin dies off. A blister forms around it, then it exfoliates during a few weeks.

Many people do not really like going to a clinic or a hospital to get treated. Thankfully, there are many items that you can get over-the-counter or just somewhere inside your home that would help you out. The old version says that you should take a slice of raw potato that does not have an eye, rub it in the affected area for a few minutes.

It is very weird indeed that many home remedies for plantar warts seem to work through the power of suggestion. But the main thing is they really help.

By anon987413 — On Feb 02, 2015

I got Soaking Shoes as a gift. Honestly, I feel it's probably one of the best products out there. I felt a difference in just two days. Definitely recommended.

By anon342876 — On Jul 24, 2013

I saw a product online and bought it called the foot system for smoother feet by now care products and I tried it when it came in the mail three days later after I took a bath and my feet was moist the hard skin just came off with ease and the scent (pineapple) was nice, too. They have free samples also. I suggest you try it.

By anon248089 — On Feb 16, 2012

I came across a really great product recently which helped me with my calluses tremendously. It’s called Grace Foot Callus Remover and I got it online. I am a dancer and I work out a lot so my feet used to be a mess. They are disposable Callus Removing packs that I use once every two months. It got rid of my callus completely and my feet are baby soft now.

And the best part is they are herbal based and have natural extracts in them, so it peels the calluses off naturally. I highly recommend this to people with callus issues.

By anon171725 — On May 01, 2011

I have found that when I put lotion on my feet and immediately put on socks and shoes, it helps to moisten the skin and after a few days the calluses start to fall off.

By anon149128 — On Feb 03, 2011

I've been working on concrete for four years now, and the calluses on my feet are so thick that sometimes I don't even have any feeling in my feet. The only the only time I do is when it itches. But it is so thick, my feet feel like leather and smell bad. Is this a normal callus? I don't know.

By anon129519 — On Nov 23, 2010

I'm 11 and i have one at the bottom of my foot and it hurts really bad. it's embarrassing when people see it and i have been wearing high heels when i was little and I'm going to soak and scrub to get this dang thing off.

By anon118939 — On Oct 16, 2010

I have three calluses: one on the sole of my right foot, one below the toe and two and an inch away from it. It's extremely painful and i cannot walk. i tried soaking and scrubbing. The doctor said the root has to come out, but it never does. Any suggestions?

By anon115420 — On Oct 02, 2010

I found a neat trick by accident in getting rid of callouses. Swimming pools! Something about the chemicals in the water, or the time spent in the pool did something to my feet. The dead skin just crumbled off after I got out of the pool. Go figure.

By anon94825 — On Jul 10, 2010

I went and bought a small dremel. So every other night I use it then add lotion. Works very well.

By anon86834 — On May 26, 2010

I have extremely bad calluses on the balls of my feet due to my huge arch and intense running. I find it hard to get rid of these because they are so big! My feet are so rough and nothing really works for me. I apply moisturizer daily and I wear shoes that fit me. I don't know what to do!

By kasen — On Jun 25, 2009

I get terrible calluses on the heels of my feet. I find that it works better to file the callus when it's still hard, then soak my feet to soften them, and apply moisturizer.

There's nothing worse than getting your stockings or tights snagged on rough calluses. I hate that.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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