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How to Get Rid of Calluses: Causes and Quick Treatments

When you’re physically active and rugged, calluses are a battle scar that you’re proud of. They’re a sign of your hard work at the gym or a side effect of your discipline as a runner. But when someone shakes your hand at a meeting or flip flop season rolls around, you want your skin to feel and look smooth.

The good news is that a little grooming goes a long way, and with the proper self-care, you can get rid of those pesky calluses once and for all. There’s no need to go through life dealing with the discomfort of calluses when you can stay fit, do the things you love and have skin as soft as butter.

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What Causes Calluses

Calluses are the result of constant friction on a specific part of your skin. Whether your best hiking boots rub against your pinky toe or rock climbing causes your hands to crack and tear, calluses are a natural protection for your skin. To avoid painful blisters, your body uses dead cells to produce its own shield against the rubbing that’s hurting your skin.

The problem with calluses is that, when left unattended, they can become uncomfortable and unsightly. Treating your calluses is essential to keep your skin healthy and avoid further irritation. With a little TLC, your hands and feet will feel great again and you’ll be able to prevent future calluses.

How to Care for Calluses


Your first course of action to get rid of a callus is to prevent further irritation. Using a pad or liquid bandage is an efficient way to give your feet’s skin the extra protection it needs. If friction from weightlifting is hurting your hands, consider wearing gloves to keep them covered while you work out. The sense of relief will be immediate when you cover your calluses. Right away, you’ll be able to walk with greater ease and recover your good form at the gym. Plus, these added shields let your body know that your skin doesn’t need any more dead cells to lessen the pressure.


After a long day, your calluses will appreciate a little self-care. A 10 to 20-minute soak in warm water and Epsom salts can do wonders for the skin’s elasticity. While your calluses take a dip, give them a gentle massage to alleviate any pain and prep the skin for treatment. Your hands and feet aren’t the only ones that’ll enjoy the extra love. Known for its stress reduction benefits, Epsom salts also reduce soreness and deliver a sense of overall well-being. No need to go to the spa when it’s so easy to pamper yourself in the comfort of your own home.


After letting water soften your calluses, it’s time to unleash the power of exfoliation. For healthier feet and even greater relaxation, choose the exfoliation method that works best for you. Physical exfoliation softens the skin by working through the thick coat of dead skin cells. Using a konjac sponge,  pumice stone, foot file, or battery-powered callus remover, you can slowly peel away the top layer of your callus.

Don’t try to strip the whole callus at once, as this would be too harsh on your skin. Instead, repeat your exfoliation routine on a regular basis and you’ll see your callus start to disappear. Patience is key with physical exfoliation. Chemical exfoliation uses acids to dissolve the dead skin cells that form the callus. Callus remover gels or foot peels are effective products that give way to the healthy skin underneath your callus.


Hydration is a must for the elimination and prevention of calluses. Whether you use one of the best body lotions for men or a natural lubricant, this final step seals in the goodness of your self-care treatments and leaves your skin feeling fantastic. A heavy moisturizing cream is a good way to hydrate the skin and give it the stretch it needs to prevent future calluses. If you prefer natural products, reach for the healing properties of coconut oil. After moisturizing, put on a pair of socks and call it a day. In the morning, you’ll wake up to softer hands and feet that feel refreshed.

With regular care, proper footwear, and shielding gloves, it’s easy to get rid of calluses and prevent these annoying buildups from coming back. If you suffer from diabetes, it’s important to speak with your doctor about the best callus treatment for you. While home callus treatments are effective, they may not be appropriate for your medical condition.

How to get rid of calluses on feet

Ill-fitting shoes and repetitive movements are the main cause of calluses on your feet. When your feet experience constant pressure or friction, this can result in calluses on your heels, big toes, the bottom of your feet, or the sides of your feet.

The best ways to get rid of calluses on feet is to use protection, soak, exfoliate and moisturize. Wearing a comfortable pair of the running shoes and comfortable socks during your workout can prevent those calluses from reappearing. If you know you’re going to be on your feet whether for travel, commuting, or hiking you may want to consider investing in the right gear.

How to get rid of calluses on hands

Start by soaking your hands in warm water. Use an exfoliator to thin out the skin and remove the dead cells. Moisturize regularly and wear protective gloves as much as possible to keep calluses from developing again.

How to get rid of calluses on toes

Toe callus treatment begins with soaking and softening of the skin. Follow this process with gentle exfoliation and daily moisturizing. By adding padding to the affected areas and trimming your toenails regularly, your toes will feel more comfortable and your skin will stay soft.

Is it bad to cut off your calluses?

Cutting your calluses is like trimming your hair – it encourages faster and stronger growth. Plus, sharp scissors or shavers can leave you with exposed skin and the possibility of an infection. This is especially dangerous for medical conditions such as diabetes. Instead of cutting your calluses, it’s best to protect, soak, exfoliate, and moisturize on a regular basis. This helps treat and prevent calluses.

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Nate Swanner
Nate is General Manager for all not-Digital-Trends properties at DTMG, including The Manual, Digital Trends en Espanol…
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