Every year when I work out in the garden, I get calluses on my hands. Every year I go on a quest to get rid of them. Once in awhile, I also have to remove a callus that forms on my foot. That’s usually caused by a shoe that doesn’t fit quite right.
What is a callus?
A callus (hyperkeratosis) is a condition where skin thickens as protection. When the area of the callus is fairly broad it’s a plain old ordinary callus. If the area is hard, thick and develops a core, the callus is called a corn.
What causes a callus?
A callus is the body’s way of defending itself against too much pressure and friction. That’s why toes, hands, the bottom of feet and between the toes are common locations for calluses to form. However, they can form anywhere like on the end of your fingers. I ended up with calluses on the ends of my fingers when I learned to play guitar. At first, my fingertips were bruised and sore, but after the calluses formed I could pluck away pain free.
Is a callus dangerous?
A callus is usually not dangerous. However, for people with certain medical conditions such as diabetes, peripheral neuropathy or poor circulation, they can be a concern. Anyone with medical conditions should consult a physician to determine the best treatment to remove a callus.
Even for healthy people, calluses can become painful, particularly the corn variety. Pain often results in action to remove a callus, but not necessarily the right action. The wrong action can lead to infections.
Removing a callus from hands or feet
The best way to remove a callus is not to get one in the first place. Sometimes my shoes are the cause of a callus. I always replace those shoes with a better fitting pair. Also, I wear gloves when I garden, particularly when manning a rake or shovel.
When I need to remove a callus from my hands or feet I use the following steps. I did a ton of research and decided against using plasters, acids, or sharp implements to cut a callus away. There’s too much chance of infection using these methods. So call me a big chicken if you like, but I have a serious aversion to replacing a small problem with a giant painful one.
- Soak them for 10 minutes
- Dry thoroughly then use a pumice stone to remove the excess skin
- Apply an emollient cream
My naughty little toe
The little toe on my right foot tends to bend down. So, I have to keep a sharp eye out for the beginnings of a corn that threatens that toe. The joint of this troublesome toe tends to rub against my shoes no matter how well fitting they are. If I see any redness on that toe, I keep the skin soft with a foot cream I make myself and then pad the area when wearing my shoes. I use a small patch type band aid versus the wrap around type.
If you need to remove a callus, I hope this post helps. I’ve outlined what works for me because I’m just the kind of girl who likes my hands and feet to look nice.
You can check out the other posts that have the soaks and creams I use. Oh and I don’t remove the calluses off the ends of my fingers. I need those right where they’re at for when I play my guitar.
Now go have fun and relax.
Foot and Hand Bath Note: I use chamomile essential oil in this recipe.