Dry, callused feet can be a particularly troublesome and painful issue if you're on your feet for most of the day. Dry feet and calluses result from a variety of causes and generally can be treated easily at home or by a podiatrist, says the Placentia-Linda Foot and Ankle Group.
Corns Vs. Calluses
Dry feet tend to have a buildup of thick skin, usually located on the heels or balls of the feet, that peels or flakes, and in severe cases can even bleed through fissures, reports the University of Iowa Department of Dermatology. Calluses are built-up pads of extra skin on the outside areas of your feet that occur in response to extra pressure, says the Placentia-Linda Foot and Ankle Group. Corns are similar to calluses, except the skin buildup forms on the inside of your toes, by the joints and knuckles.
Dry skin can occur for a variety of reasons that cause your skin to lose its natural oils and moisture. This moisture loss most commonly occurs because of dry, cold winter weather, soapy water, exposure to harsh cleaning agents and walking barefoot for extended periods of time. The most common causes of calluses are incorrect padding in the shoes, flat feet, a bone spur and hammertoes, reports the Placentia-Linda Foot and Ankle Group.
A variety of home remedies and medical treatments may help, based on the severity of your dry skin and calluses. Callus pads can help to relieve pressure on your foot, which allows the callus to heal. A callus file or a pumice stone can also be used to alleviate dry, callused skin, but it usually causes the appearance of rough, flaking skin. Silicone insoles can help and they may be the easiest and most inexpensive treatment for many people. If you have an underlying problem such as a bone spur or hammertoe, surgery may be required.
Pamper and Prep Your Feet
Wearing shoes that fit properly is one of the easiest ways to prevent dry feet and calluses. Protect your feet by avoiding walking barefoot on rough surfaces. Adding moisturizers, especially directly after bathing, may also help, notes the University of Iowa Department of Dermatology.
Dos and Don'ts
Consult a dermatologist if your feet are severely dry or bleeding, as certain medical treatments may offer relief and a reduction of your symptoms. Don't try to cut away dry skin on your own. Your dermatologist may be able to offer you a procedure known as debridement to remove the skin, notes the New Zealand Dermatological Society.