Most people have encountered calluses at some point in their lives. Whether on their hands or feet, calluses are painful and unpleasant. The degree to which calluses may be painful or may impact your life range from person to person. Interestingly enough, calluses can even be useful and protective in certain circumstances. That said, the majority of people do not want calluses. It is therefore important to understand what calluses are, why calluses form, and how to treat calluses.
What are Calluses?
Calluses are the dry, hardened, thick areas of skin that may form on parts of your body. While calluses can technically form anywhere on the body, the most common areas that people notice calluses are on feet, hands, and fingers. Calluses tend to have an irregular, spread-out shape. Foot calluses often appear on weight-bearing sections such as the heel, and ball of the foot. Hand calluses are less common, but may appear on fingertips, palms, and knuckle mounds.
Why Do Calluses Form?
Calluses form as a result of repeated friction, rubbing, or irritation and pressure being put on a certain part of the skin. Weight-bearing body parts of the body such as heels, the ball of the foot, and the palms of the hands) may exhibit calluses first because of the ongoing friction. An increase in pressure or friction causes the skin in that area to die and form a hard, protective surface (the callus). While calluses actually provide protection against sensitivity, most people would prefer not to have callused feet and callused hands. Foot calluses are very common for many people, while hand calluses are most common among those who participate in activities like playing the guitar, weightlifting, and gymnastics.
How to Treat Calluses
Regardless of whether your calluses are on your hands or your feet, the first thing to do if you want to stop getting calluses is to avoid the activity that produced them in the first place. This could be reducing running, wearing protective gloves on gymnastics parallel bars, and more. This may not be feasible for some people, however, in which case callus removal and callus treatments would be the next best solution.
Before using any products on your hands or feet for calluses, make sure to soak in warm, soapy water to soften the calluses. Soaking in warm water will make it easier to remove callused skin. The next step is to thin out the thickened skin. This can be done either during or after bathing with a pumice stone, a nail file, or even a washcloth. Never use a sharp object to trim the skin and always consult a podiatrist or hand specialist if you are unsure whether it is safe to remove the skin yourself.
To keep foot skin and hand skin soft, use an intensive moisturizer. Sorevna makes an Advanced Enzymatic Therapy Foot Cream that is specifically designed to target dry, callused skin, as well as a Natural Hand Therapy cream that helps maintain healthy, soft skin.