Calluses are hardened, thickened layers of skin that form on the skin that come into contact with significant pressure & friction. The body forms them to protect itself from injury and damage. As they primarily are an aesthetic problem and help protect your skin & body, you may want to leave them be unless they are causing you discomfort, pain or inflamed. If you want to get rid of your calluses, then there are a few things you can try.
*Use medicated strips or pads to break them down. Easily found at most drugstores and pharmacies, these products keep medication on the callus to help soften it.
*Use a pumice stone on wet feet to gently scrub away the tough skin. Electric versions can make quick work of filing down the callus. For best results, either let your feet soak first or do this towards the end of (or immediately after) your shower or bath.
*Keep the skin moisturized, especially with a thick cream.
*Identify the source of the callus and adjust. Perhaps you need new shoes, a different type of sock or orthopedic insert for your shoes in order to better cushion & support your feet so that calluses do not form.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you have diabetes, please discuss your concerns about calluses with your physician before trying to get rid of them. Certain methods, such as pumicing, increase your risk of infection.
Athlete’s Foot is not just for athletes! People can get athlete’s foot from public pools or hotels as well. Athlete’s Foot is a fungal infection that occurs on the soles of the feet and between the toes. It looks like flaky, cracking skin that typically itches. Anti-fungal creams are available over-the-counter at any drugstore or pharmacy. If you have been using the cream and it is not going away, see your dermatologist to make sure that the skin condition is athlete’s foot and not something else.
How can you avoid getting it in the first place?
*Wear shower shoes/flip flops when you are at the pool, gym, locker room, public shower, or hotel room. Yes- wear the shoes INTO the public shower (not just to/ from the shower).
*Keep your feet dry, even when you’re not in public areas. Athlete’s foot fungus loves all warm, moist areas. If you are wearing closed sneakers, clogs, or other enclosed shoes, change your socks if they get sweaty and be aware that shoes made of synthetic materials (plastic, rubber, etc) are more likely to cause sweating.
*Wash your feet every day & dry them thoroughly
*Wear socks that wick moisture away from your skin and/or dry quickly
*Alternate your shoes daily if you can. This will make sure that each pair dries our completely.
*Don’t share towels, linens or shoes with anyone who has athlete’s foot
Keep toe nails trimmed. Toe nails that are too long can interfere with the fit of your shoes –comfort, calluses, etc. Proper toe nail care can also help prevent toe nail fungus, which turns them yellow & crusty. If you have toe nail fungus, there are some OTC products available, but they are mostly ineffective. An antifungal pill is generally required to clear up the fungus. As with athlete’s foot, toe nail fungus can be prevented by keeping your feet dry & wearing shoes or sandals in public places.