Foot calluses are common but unattractive. Sometimes when calluses get very thick, your skin can crack and become painful, making it challenging to wear your favorite shoes. There a few ways to manage your calluses. Certain types of acids can be used to remove them.
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Your foot callus is actually thickened skin that forms to protect your foot from irritation caused by pressure or friction. This is a common complaint of runners and other athletes, ballerinas and individuals who wear high heels, snug shoes or spend a lot of time on their feet. Calluses can also become more problematic during the winter, because central heating dries the air.
If you are healthy, you can treat your calluses with over-the-counter products. Since your calluses are caused by friction and pressure, it is also important to consider what you are doing to cause the problem. Using acid removers will help in reducing the dry, dead skin, but your callus will develop again unless you change the environment your foot is exposed to.
According to the experts at the Mayo Clinic, wearing socks is an important step you can take to prevent callus formation. Be sure that your socks fit well and that they do not have a seam that presses against your foot when you put your shoes on. Polyester and cotton-blend socks are best because they are able to wick moisture away from your skin better than 100 percent cotton socks. Not wearing socks can result in calluses and blisters on your feet.
If you want to be more aggressive in your callus treatment, you can use acid products that help remove the dead skin. You can buy over-the-counter patches that contain 40 percent salicylic acid. Brands include Curad Mediplast and Dr. Scholl's. You can also purchase liquid callus remover containing acid if your callus is larger. Follow the manufacturer's directions on how long to leave the product on your foot. If your skin is healthy, you can use a callus file to remove the excess dry skin if any remains.
Some salons offer acid callus removal treatments as part of your pedicure. They use products that contain salicylic, citric or hydroxy acids. Generally, they apply the liquid callus remover, cover your foot in a plastic bag and then remove the product by rinsing and washing your foot.
Acid callus removers are generally safe if you are healthy. But if the callused area is also painfully cracked or bleeding, check with your doctor first. And if you have diabetes or poor circulation due to any illness, the acid can burn a hole into your skin and you will not be able to feel it because of the reduced sensitivity of your nerves. You will need a health care professional to treat your callus due to the increased possibility of infection.