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What is a Callus Rasp?

Erin J. Hill
Erin J. Hill

A callus rasp is a tool used to slough away dead skin cells from the bottoms of feet, elbows, and other areas of the body. Rasps generally feature a plastic, wooden, or metal handle attached to an abrasive pad used to remove dead skin. Callus removal is the most common use of callus rasps, as calluses contain very rough skin that is not sensitive to harsh surfaces.

Two types of callus rasp may be used to treat rough skin on the feet or other areas. The first is for minor rough patches, and implements a gritty surface to gradually slough away the dead skin. This type of rasp is similar in texture and function to sandpaper. The second type uses tiny blades that scrape across the skin to remove hardened areas. Usually this type is only recommended for use on the bottoms of feet in severely callused areas, because most skin is too sensitive.

It's best to use a foot soak before removing calluses on the feet.
It's best to use a foot soak before removing calluses on the feet.

To be most effective, users should also work to maintain skin that is healthy. Lotions and foot balms can be applied to help keep healthy skin healthy as well as to make dead skin easier and more efficient to remove. Before using a callus rasp, one should use softening lotions for a week or more in the areas that will be treated. This will help provide better results.

Callus lotion.
Callus lotion.

No two people should share a callus rasp. In some cases when skin is sloughed too harshly, bleeding can occur. If people share a rasp, infections or diseases could be spread through shared blood and tissues. In most cases, a callus rasp can be washed using warm water and then allowed to dry on a towel or flat surface. Rusting should not occur, but if it does, discontinue use. Consumers are encouraged to check their skin after each use to be sure no ill effects have occurred, such as bleeding or tearing of healthy skin. If these things happen, one should stop using the rasp in that area and skin should be treated accordingly with antibiotic solutions or bandages.

Calluses may be caused by ill fitting shoes.
Calluses may be caused by ill fitting shoes.

Rasps are meant to be used over the course of several days to allow a gentle approach to callus removal. Failure to comply with this standard may result in injury. They should be used in each area just long enough to remove one layer of dead skin. To prevent calluses from returning, users should avoid walking in bare feet and high heels, and should apply moisturizing creams to the affected area.

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Discussion Comments


@tomislav - They do make such a product! My husband uses a something that is in the shape of an egg, but I am not sure of the name. I personally do not think that it works well enough on my calluses, but sadly I think my calluses are actually worse than my husbands so I think the egg looking rasp works just great for him.

I have been looking and there are more callus rasps that have traps to contain and catch your skin as it is removed. I do not know yet if they work better than the other plain rasps, but I am going to go into one of those large beauty stores to see if they can point me in the right direction.


This is a funny thing to say but "I love my calluses!" but it is true! My calluses have saved me, I think, from numerous blisters while playing sports. And I consider that a huge feat for my feet considering the time they spent in blister making type situations!

However, my athletic days have come to an end and I am now just a every now and again work out kind of person. And it is sandal weather. I think it might just be time for me to rid myself of some of my larger calluses. (My husband thinks the callus on the side of my toe could be considered a sixth toe).

So if I am to pick out a rasp, making sure not to share it with my husband, has anyone seen one that traps your dead skin cells so they do not go everywhere?

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    • It's best to use a foot soak before removing calluses on the feet.
      By: Jan Andersen
      It's best to use a foot soak before removing calluses on the feet.
    • Callus lotion.
      By: michelangelus
      Callus lotion.
    • Calluses may be caused by ill fitting shoes.
      By: naka
      Calluses may be caused by ill fitting shoes.