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Simple Methods for Callus Removal

Simple Methods for Callus Removal

Calluses are a common problem in both men and women. Although they aren’t dangerous and generally not painful, many people find them unsightly and look for easy methods of callus removal. Calluses are simply areas of thickened skin that form over time, usually as a result of friction in the area. Calluses usually form on the feet and the hands, especially in those who work with their hands a lot.

The medical term for calluses is hyperkeratosis. This term is also used for a similar problem that often forms on the feet known as corns. Unlike calluses, corns can become painful and their removal is recommended. Callus removal is not medically necessary, but many people prefer softer hands and feet.

How Calluses Form

Calluses often form from repeated contact with a rough surface – guitarists often get them from plucking guitar strings, mechanics commonly get them from working with rough machinery, and anyone who is on their feet a lot, especially in poor shoes, can develop calluses on the soles and heels of the feet. In some cases, calluses can be prevented by wearing better shoes or gloves.

Callus Removal at Home

Callus removal can be done fairly easily at home, but requires a careful regimen of sloughing away the layers of built up, thickened skin, and softening the new skin and surrounding areas. There are plenty of popular methods for at-home callus removal you can try.

Salicylic acid, which is a common ingredient in acne medications, can help to break down the thickened skin that forms the callus and reveal new skin underneath. Salicylic acid treatments for calluses and corns as well are available over the counter and can be applied at home. People with diabetes are warned against using these products as they can cause the callus to crack and become infected.

Calluses can also be scrubbed for removal using a variety of available products. Soak your feet in warm water prior to applying a scrubbing mechanism. There are two ways to scrub a callus – you can use a pumice stone, which essentially sloughs away the surface layer of the callus, or you can use a scrub that is usually sugar or salt set in a gel or lotion. The rubbing of this type of scrub against the callus does essentially the same thing as the pumice stone, usually a little more gently. Scrubs usually contain ingredients designed to help soften the skin and break down the callus.

Scrubs are available in drugstores or often at popular bath and body stores, and there are products designed specifically for feet. Applying a lotion after using the scrub will help to lock in moisture and prevent the callus from re-forming.

Although there are some products on the market designed to peel away the thick skin of the callus using metal files, use these with caution. They can result in dangerous infections if not properly sanitized. A pumice stone is the roughest object you should use on your calluses without the advice of a doctor.

Care when Performing a Callus Removal

Callus removal at home can be a tricky proposition, so gentle care with scrubs and lotions are your best bet. To help soften the skin, apply a heavy moisturize at night and wear socks to bed to lock it in place. Constant moisture, avoidance of friction and gentle scrubbing are the best ways to treat calluses.

Bear in mind that calluses develop for a good reason. They protect the feet and hands from tearing of the skin, which could result in infection. If the friction causing your calluses is a result of a daily behavior, your job or a hobby, it’s likely the callus will return in time. In this case, prevention is the best way to avoid having to perform constant callus removal.

If you work with your hands, you should use protective gloves to prevent calluses on the palms of your hands and your fingers. In some cases, however, callus removal is not a good idea. If you can not wear protective gear and need to continue the work, keeping your calluses will actually protect you in the long run.

Callus removal is generally a constant cycle of treatment and prevention. Keeping areas prone to calluses moisturized and free of friction are the best ways to keep them soft and callus free.

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