Removing a Callus: The When, How and Why of Foot Care

A woman wearing sandals, which is a reason to think abour removing a callus

With the promise of summer fast approaching, you start to consider getting your feet out, and your thoughts may wander to removing a callus.

You want to wear those lovely sandals or open-heel shoes, but your feet don’t look particularly pretty because of that troublesome callus. Consequently, if your feet don’t look pretty, it knocks your confidence, and no matter what you wear, it doesn’t feel right.

Calluses rarely feel painful, but they look unsightly and may cause discomfort, especially if you remain on your feet all day due to work.

Shoes never feel comfortable when you suffer from a callus, and with at least 75 percent of Americans suffering from foot problems, it may lead to severe symptoms if left untreated.

Removing a callus is more straightforward than you think, and our handy tips may help you achieve pretty feet for your summer shoes.

Removing a Callus

Bare feet with small flowers between the toes

The hard skin that forms on your feet, particularly around the heel, is called a callus. A callus doesn’t usually hurt, but it may be uncomfortable, and the constant friction of the hard skin against your shoes may lead to foot problems.

Consequently, removing a callus keeps your feet healthy.

Soaking your feet in warm water helps to soften the hard skin, and treating the area with a pumice stone removes the callus quickly.

Recommended Read: Tea Tree Oil Foot Soak: How To Make It At Home

Electric Callus Removers are an effective way of reducing the problem, while Callus Remover gel works to reduce hard skin significantly.

However, to effectively conquer the problem, it helps to understand how a callus forms. Furthermore, if you know about preventative measures, you can avoid hard skin and retain gorgeous, smooth feet.

What Is a Callus?

A callus consists of a hardened layer of skin that develops on your feet, particularly around the heel area.

However, a callus may form on your toes, hands, and fingers.

Why do they form?

The leading cause of hard skin, or a callus, derives from friction. Constant friction in your shoes where your feet rub against the shoe, or repetitive actions with your hands, such as those experienced within the construction industry, cause hard skin to form.

The pressure and constant friction warn your body to build a protective layer of skin, creating a hard layer to protect the soft tissue beneath.

Is a callus dangerous?

Most healthy individuals don’t suffer from complications caused by an untreated callus, though the condition may cause some discomfort. Calluses rarely cause pain, and if you find that the condition causes pain, you must consult a doctor.

By eliminating the cause of the friction and pressure, you reduce the formation of hard skin. Healthy individuals can easily remove a callus from the feet and hands using a variety of methods.

However, if you have diabetes or a condition that causes poor blood flow to your feet, you may experience complications when dealing with a callus. Consequently, you should consult a doctor before you take any remedial action.

But Not the Symptoms

How do you know you have a callus? Is it a callus or a corn? Before you attempt to treat the area, it is crucial to understand the differences between the two conditions.

You may have a corn or a callus if you find a rough, thick area of skin on your feet. Both conditions may manifest as a hardened, raised bump, and you may experience tenderness or pain under your skin. Furthermore, the skin appears flaky, dry, or waxen.

Such symptoms refer to both callus and corns. So, how do you know the difference?


Corns tend to look smaller than a callus and consist of a hard center surrounded by inflamed skin. A corn usually forms on areas of your feet, such as the top and sides of your toes.

However, in severe cases, corns may develop around weight-bearing areas and cause significant discomfort and pain.


A callus rarely causes pain. They tend to develop around weight-bearing or friction-sensitive foot areas, such as the heel or balls.

However, you may also experience callus on your hands, fingers, and knees. The hard skin may cover a significant area and feels rough in texture.

The Root of the Problem

A woman in high-heels with a snake skin pattern that will have to worry about removing a callous because of this footwear choice

We understand that pressure and friction cause the dreaded callus. However, what causes the pressure and friction?

Understanding the causes of calluses may help you avoid the problem in the future, especially when you want to get your pretty feet out for the summer!

Ill-fitting shoes

By far, the worse offender for calluses derives from poorly fitted shoes. Tight shoes and heels compress the feet and cause pressure. Alternatively, loose shoes rub against your skin and cause friction.

To sock or not to sock?

The act of wearing socks does more than keep your feet warm. Socks protect your skin and help prevent the skin from rubbing against your shoes. Consequently, if you don’t wear socks, you may develop a callus.

Repeated activity

Repetitive actions cause friction and pressure. If you love running as part of your daily routine, you may develop a callus.

Furthermore, activities such as playing instruments, using hand tools, and writing may cause hard skin to develop on your hands and fingers.

The Risk Factor

Certain conditions may result in a callus. Unfortunately, such conditions may prove unavoidable, but understanding the risks may benefit your fight against hard skin development.


Wearing insufficient hand or foot protection, such as gloves and socks, may lead to a callus developing. Gloves and socks prevent friction, which remains the leading cause of the condition.

Foot deformities

Foot conditions, such as bone spurs, may cause friction and pressure. Consult your doctor to see if they can remove the spur.


A bunion derives from a bony bump that forms on the joint at the base of your big toe. Consequently, the bunion causes friction which may lead to a callus forming.


Sometimes a deformity occurs in your toes where it curls like a claw. The hammertoe rubs against your shoes and other digits to cause friction, which may lead to hard skin.

Prevention Proves Better than Cure

You can help reduce the risk of calluses by following some simple tips.

A professional shoe fitting ensures correctly fitted footwear, which reduces the risk of callus formation.

Protective coverings such as socks, gloves, and felt pads reduce the risk of friction and pressure. If you use hand tools, wear the correct protective gear to reduce repetitive friction and hard skin.

Why Bother?

A barefoot standing in the grass

Removing a callus is essential for good foot health. If you leave a callus unchecked, it may crack, which can result in infections.

A cracked, infected callus makes walking difficult and painful. When you consider removing a callus at home, you must consult your doctor if the area looks infected.

Removing a callus that looks cracked and infected at home may result in additional bacteria infecting the area.

The removal of a callus before they get too thick and crack may result in healthier feet. Regular examination of your feet may indicate the correct course of action. If the skin feels so hard that you can’t feel it, you may wish to take action.

Methods for Removing a Callus

Before you attempt removing a callus, you must soften the skin. Consequently, a good foot soak in warm water for several minutes makes it easier to remove the hardened skin.

Once the skin feels softer, you may rub the area using a pumice stone or a callus file. However, don’t rub too hard, or you may remove too much skin.

However, you can also use some more advanced techniques for removing a callus at home.

Recommended Read: 10 Must-Have Tools You’ll Love to Have for Healthy Feet

Electric Feet Callus Remover

Electric Feet Callus Removers Rechargeable,Portable Electronic Foot...
  • ✔FAST & RECHARGEABLE PRO FOOT CARE CALLUS REMOVER SET ━ Efficient foot pedicure tool to support plug-and-play,simply...
  • ✔WHOLE BODY WATERPROOF ━ A simple design without screws and dusty, PRITECH IPX6 electronic foot scrubber is...
  • ✔POWERFUL, SAFE and FAST ━ Two speed Replacement. 1900/2200 turns of scientific speed . Three types of rollers have...

The Electric Feet Callus Remover from PRITECH consists of a handy rechargeable device to give your feet a lovely pedicure. It takes 8 hours to charge and lasts for up to 45 minutes. Furthermore, the unit proves waterproof for safe operation.

Using a pumice stone may prove difficult or awkward, especially for anyone suffering from dexterity issues. Consequently, this electric solution is ideal and easy to use as the various heads safely reduce hard skin to leave your feet smooth and pretty.

Callus Remover Gel

Lee Beauty Professional Callus Remover Extra Strength Gel for Feet, At...
  • Get Great Results: Follow the instructions on the callus remover, then soak your feet for a few minutes in hot water,...
  • Remove Years of Calluses and Have Sandal Ready Feet: The Lee Beauty Professional callus remover does not care how old...
  • Pedicured Feet at Home: Enjoy the convenience of a salon product in the comfort of your home.

The Callus Remover Gel from Lee Beauty Professional provides an easy solution for removing a callus. You apply the gel after soaking your feet, and after 3 to 7 minutes, you rinse off the gel and use a foot scrubber to remove the residual dead skin.

The gel is a cost-effective way for removing a callus, and it works on thick layers of skin without the need for pedicure tools. Removing a callus at home using this gel gives a professional, salon-level foot treatment quickly and easily.

Duragel Callus Removers

Dr Scholl's Duragel Callus Removers, 4 Cushions and 4 Medicated Discs,...
  • The ideal pain relief in its class
  • Active site: water resistant
  • Nearly invisible on skin

The Duragel Callus Removers from Dr. Scholl are an effective treatment for removing a callus. The pads help soften hard calluses and remove them fast in as few as two treatments.

The pads remain on your feet day and night to break down the hard skin. Furthermore, the thin, flexible gel pads provide immediate relief from painful shoe pressure and friction.

Original Foot Peel Exfoliator

Baby Foot - Original Foot Peel Exfoliator - Fresh Lavender Scent Pair...
  • Baby feet rebirth: restore dry, cracked, and calloused feet with Baby Foot Original Foot Peel Exfoliator Lavender Scent;...
  • Simple & safe: foot peeling mask is a single, one-time disposable treatment for both feet (1 pack = 2 booties); 3-D...
  • Easy to use: place clean feet into booties and secure with included tape, wear booties for 1 hour, remove, wash feet,...

The Original Foot Peel Exfoliator from Baby Foot restores dry, cracked, and calloused feet. It exudes a gorgeous Lavender scent with a gel formula containing botanical extracts that naturally removes dead skin and calluses from your feet.

The kit contains two booties that you fasten over your feet and wear for 1 hour. Once you remove the booties, wash your feet, and in 5 to 7 days, the hard skin sloughs off. Consequently, you don’t need to use pumice stones or foot scrubs after the treatment.

The formula uses ingredients such as lavender, orange, grapefruit, sage, and chamomile to provide a natural solution for removing a callus. However, the kit is unsuitable for people with diabetes or pregnant women.

3 In 1 Pedicure Foot File

Next Generation 3-in-1 Pedicure Foot File. Callus Remover for Feet....
  • ➤ EXCLUSIVE NEW VERSION - The integrated free mini callus file allows you to remove hard skin even in difficult to...
  • ➤ EFFICIENT - The double-sided laser-cut surfaces of the DYNESSE foot file are particularly efficient and requires...
  • ➤ SAFE - No risk of injury for young, old or those with sensitive skin, unlike a conventional callus shaver. You take...

This well-made 3 In 1 Pedicure Foot File from DYNESSE consists of an integrated mini callus file that allows you to remove hard skin in difficult-to-reach areas. The ergonomically designed, smooth handle prevents dirt build-up and proves easy to hold and use.

The double-sided laser-cut surfaces cut through hard, dead skin with little effort to remove calluses quickly and easily. You may use the callus rasp in the bath or shower, and the high-quality stainless-steel construction ensures the product lasts a long time.

Pedi Perfect

Amope Pedi Perfect Electronic Dry Foot File (Blue/Pink), Regular...
  • The Amope Pedi Perfect Foot File gently & effectively buffs away your thick hard skin to reveal touchably soft, smooth...
  • Refillable Regular Coarse roller head that spins 360 degrees for quick results on thick, calloused skin
  • Safe and effective to remove dead skin from feet for the perfect pedicure at home

The Pedi Perfect from Amope consists of a handheld, battery-operated device for removing a callus. The Pedi Perfect effectively buffs away thick, hard skin to reveal baby soft feet.

The device uses a refillable regular coarse roller head that spins 360 degrees for effortless use. It uses four AA batteries, which makes it portable and versatile to use.


Removing a callus may result in sensitive areas on your foot. Furthermore, using foot moisturizers after your pedicure nourishes the skin and rejuvenates your feet.

Regular use of foot moisturizers may help prevent the build-up of hard skin and keep your feet looking pretty and soft.

Recommended Read: Best Foot Moisturizers and How to Use Them

Softening Foot Cream

Gold Bond Ultimate Softening Foot Cream With Shea Butter to Soften...
  • INCLUDES: One (1) 4-oz. tube of Gold Bond Ultimate Softening Foot Cream With Shea Butter to Soften Rough Calloused Feet
  • RESTORE AND MAINTAIN SKIN'S YOUTHFUL APPEARANCE: The unique silk peptide matrix is formulated with vitamins and shea...
  • SOFTENING FOOT CREAM: Formula moisturizes rough dry skin to reveal soft skin

This Softening Foot Cream from Gold Bond contains Shea Butter and uses vitamins A, C and E combined with silk amino acids to nourish your feet.

Regular application of the cream results in revitalized skin and reduces the risk of calluses. Furthermore, use the cream after removing a callus to maintain your skin condition and return your foot to its natural, soft state.

Removing a Callus Explored

Feet soaking in a bowl of water and rose petals

Hard skin on your feet may feel uncomfortable. If you wear tight or loose shoes, the friction and pressure can cause your body to make thicker layers of skin, resulting in a callus.

Moreover, if left untreated, a callus may crack, and infection sets in. Consequently, removing a callous proves essential to maintaining good foot health.

Soaking your feet in warm water before treating the hard skin with a pumice stone or foot rasp remains one of the most efficient ways to solve the problem.

However, superb handheld devices such as the Pedi Perfect from Amope make the procedure easier, especially if you suffer from dexterity issues and arthritis.

Using a foot wrap, such as the Original Foot Peel Exfoliator from Baby Foot, restores your feet to their natural soft state after a few days. However, before removing callous, check the area for infection.

Furthermore, if you suffer from poor blood circulation to the feet or diabetes, you must consult your doctor before attempting any home treatment.

Sean Kerr lives in Cardiff, Wales, and is a published author with over 10 novels to his name so far and still counting. As well as writing his next bestseller, Sean also runs a successful jewelry-making business and sells his creations online.

Last update on 2021-09-28 at 13:46 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API