Callus is an area of thickened skin on the soles of the feet and hands. Callus is actually just the body's way of protecting itself from friction. Calluses commonly appear in the weight-bearing areas of the feet due to repeated friction against ill-fitting shoes and socks. The constant use of hand instruments for long hours also causes callus on the hands. Callus is harmless and asymptomatic, but if neglected, it can grow thick, hard, and painful. Luckily, there are a number of natural methods you can do yourself to remove callus, all starting with Step 1 below.
Part 1 of 4: With Tested Home Remedies
Step 1. Soak the callus in hot water
The simplest way to do this is to soak your feet in hot water. Take a medium-sized basin and fill it with warm water, about 45°C, and, while sitting on a chair or bench, soak your feet for 15-20 minutes while you relax and read a book.
- At the end of this type of foot spa, you will find your callus softened. Over a few days of repeating this procedure, the callus will become soft enough to simply peel off by hand.
- 4-5 drops of tea tree oil, or peppermint oil, or 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar added to a basin of warm water to soak the area, also helps reduce callus. However, use tea tree oil with caution as some people experience skin irritation from using it. Avoid this oil if you are pregnant or have diabetes.
- Tea, tannic acid, and especially chamomile tea can also be poured into a basin when you soak your feet. The antioxidant ingredients will help soften the callus which will then become easier to peel. It will also leave the skin feeling refreshed and nourished.
Step 2. Use baking soda
A trip to the kitchen will give you enough bullets to fight a stubborn callus. You can add 2-3 teaspoons of baking soda to the water you plan to soak your feet in, or you can make a paste of baking soda with water, in a 3:1 ratio, and rub it over the callus. This will soften the dead skin which can then be easily scraped off with a pumice stone.
Cornstarch can also be used to sprinkle between the toes which helps keep the skin on the toes dry and absorbs all the moisture. This will prevent further fungal infections and callus growing in the damp area
Step 3. Use vinegar
An overnight with vinegar will do a little wonder for your socks. Take a small piece of cotton swab dipped in vinegar and apply it to the callus using a regular micropore plaster or a cloth.
- The vinegar will soften the entire callus significantly when you wake up in the morning. You can then scrub the callus with a pumice stone and remove it permanently. Then just take action to make sure the callus doesn't show up again!
- You can also combine it with molasses and baking soda to make a thick paste.
Step 4. Cool
Ice is a very useful object -- especially when it comes to pain caused by callus. Rubbing ice on the callus will help relieve the pain in a matter of minutes. This ice treatment can be repeated up to 3 times a day for about 10-15 minutes.
However, you won't want to do it for too long; the skin can become numb to the temperature of the ice and you can actually freeze your skin without knowing it. Stick to the 15 minute max limit
Step 5. Experiment with lemons
Astringents and acids like lemon juice will also help dry out the callus and surrounding skin. It works in the same way as vinegar and has acidic properties that help loosen dead tissue which in turn makes it easier for the skin to peel.
Alternatively, you can make a paste of aspirin powder and lemon juice. Apply this paste on the callus and cover it with plastic or a bandage. Remove after 20 minutes and scrub
Step 6. Massage
Reflexology massages at a foot spa -- or do it yourself -- are not only soothing but also help improve blood circulation in the feet. Use an oil that acts as a lubricating agent as well as a moisturizer for the entire foot. This massage usually focuses on rubbing areas such as the heel, the base of the toes, and under the toes in a circular motion. It improves circulation and makes the skin of the soles of the feet smooth and soft.
During a massage session, one can also feel the dead skin peeling off - also known as exfoliating
Part 2 of 4: With Untested Alternative Medicine
Step 1. Use herbal oils
Massage the callus area with herbal oil for 10-15 minutes at least three times a day. You can then gently scrub the callus with a pumice stone to remove it. Reapply the herbal oil after scrubbing to keep the area soft and moisturized. Here are some oils that you can use.
- 4 drops tea tree oil and 1 tablespoon almond, grapeseed, or olive oil. Massage the callus area with this mixture three times a day.
- Alternatively, heat a little linseed oil in a saucepan until warm. Do not overheat or boil. Dip a cotton cloth in the oil until it is wet. Place this cloth on the callus area and cover it with plastic. Leave it for 1-2 hours. Place the heating pad over the plastic when the oil has cooled. This will soften the callus and ease the pain.
Step 2. Try yogurt
Applying yogurt paste on the callus is claimed to be effective, especially for hard callus on the hands.
- Butter and shea cream work in a similar way. It should be applied daily for two weeks with a daily scraping to remove the callus in the two week period.
- Moisturizing lotions, petroleum jelly, and aloe vera gel can all be used for the same purpose: to keep the skin, especially between the toes, moisturized and prevent the skin from drying out which can then become hard and keratinized and subsequently callus.
Step 3. Consider using a liquorice paste
Limestone stalks ground into a paste and applied daily can also be a useful home remedy for callus, among many other skin ailments.
Step 4. Consider antimonium crudum and sulfur
Antimonium crudum treats horned or hard callus effectively. You can take "antim crud" 200 twice a day for one month. Also, apply thuja extract on the callus daily, for better results.
Sulfur works very well for skin problems. It is indicated for dirty looking callus with smelly foot sweat and black discoloration of the skin. Sulfur 200 twice daily for 1 month or until the callus is gone should be sufficient
Step 5. Try thuja
It is an important remedy in the collection of homeopathic remedies for skin overgrowth. Thuja 200 twice a day for 1 month is recommended for callus. You can also apply thuja extract directly to the callus once a day for fast healing.
Part 3 of 4: Exploring Products
Step 1. Buy a pumice stone
One of the most vital things you will need is a pumice stone. This is the easiest and cheapest way to scrape a callus. After all the soaking, washing, baking soda, and vinegar - all skin softeners - a pumice stone is the tool of choice for scrubbing callus.
However, be careful; If you rub too hard or too deep, you can injure yourself and tear the healthy skin as well which can then become infected. Gentle, firm, unidirectional movements, such as filing one's nails or playing the violin are all correct ways to use a pumice stone. With steady hands and minimal, constant pressure, rub the top layer of the callus to reveal healthy skin from beneath the callus
Step 2. Consider orthostatic footwear
This is a special type of footwear that helps maintain the position and comfort level of the sole of the foot when walking, running, and even standing. This ensures that there is no stagnation of blood or hardening of the skin at any point which can then lead to callus due to friction.
Step 3. Try on "wetting shoes
Wetting shoes are a special type of shoe that can be used to walk for 45 minutes a day at least once, up to three times. Visit a foot doctor or specialty shoe store to get these shoes.
These shoes use the principle of osmosis to keep the feet moist through a special membrane inside the shoe that contains water. These shoes provide optimal comfort and properly distribute body weight on the feet, thereby preventing callus
Step 4. Look for the toe separator
This is important for callus valgus that occurs between the toes due to sweat and friction. These are usually available in strips of cork, plastic, or other similar synthetic materials designed with special contours that help keep the toes apart and reduce friction between the toes.
Step 5. Purchase a silicone gel pad
It can be used as a ring under the heel, or as a cushion placed just under the callus. These pads are soft and take on the shape of the area. It should be placed or affixed to the sole of the shoe rather than the sole of the foot. People can buy more than one of these pads if they have too many choices of footwear.
Usually people who experience callus are only comfortable with 1 or 2 pairs of footwear they have. Soft cushioning helps prevent abrasion and friction thereby reducing the chances of callus formation
Part 4 of 4: Taking Care of Your Feet and Hands
Step 1. Wear comfortable, soft-soled, loose-fitting shoes
Make sure the size of the shoe you use is right for you by measuring the length of the foot. If you are active, consider buying a pair of tennis shoes that fit your feet. The shoes are more expensive, but worth it!
It is important to wear well-fitting socks as well. Avoid wearing socks that are too loose or too tight as they can increase friction
Step 2. Use suitable gloves when necessary
If you use hand instruments every day, it is wise to protect your hands as much as possible. Hands facing use and work at all times. Wear gloves whenever you can to protect your hands from damage from normal use.
Step 3. Use a moisturizing hand and foot cream
Applying lotion to the feet and hands before putting on shoes or gloves to reduce friction can greatly relieve the pain of callus.
As an alternative, consider applying petroleum jelly. Humidity won't be a problem anymore
Step 4. Use orthopedic shoe covers
These, or the donut-shaped foot pads recommended specifically for callus, are great because they keep the callus area raised and coated, thereby reducing friction by avoiding the callus coming into contact with the footwear. This will not remove the existing callus, but will prevent new callus from forming.
You can also make moleskin foot pads by cutting two moon-shaped pieces and arranging them around your callus
- Some natural therapists also recommend 1 tablespoon of borax in a bowl of hot water to remove callus.
- If you experience pain, bleeding, or redness on or around the callus, see a doctor to get rid of the infection.
- Daily walking offers many benefits, but with the right footwear, it can greatly benefit your feet and prevent callus in the long run.