Calluses are caused by repeated pressure on a spot of your skin. Extra layers of skin grow over the affected area until a harder, raised bump appears. Your body does this to protect your skin from being exposed to irritants or broken. Calluses don’t usually hurt and are most often found on your heels, palms, toes, and knees. Wearing tight-fitting shoes, walking barefoot, playing instruments, and working with your hands are common causes of calluses.
Calluses don’t indicate a medical problem and they aren’t a reason to seek emergency care. If you’d like to get rid of your calluses because you don’t like how they look, there are some natural remedies you can try at home.
treatments and remedies for calluses
Before you try anything else, you might want to treat the callused area to a 20-minute soak in warm water. After towel-drying your skin, see if you can gently rub a layer of the callus away with just your finger. Over the course of several soaking sessions, you may be able to completely remove the callus one layer at a time. A simple warm-water soak is the first remedy recommended by the American Academy of Dermatology.
Non-medicated callus pads
Callus pads, consisting of felt, silicone, and a gentle adhesive, can be applied to the affected area and worn underneath socks, shoes, gloves, or shirts. These pads will keep your callus from being irritated while it heals. The Mayo Clinic advises that you avoid medicated callus pads, which contain salicylic acid — an ingredient that can irritate and break through your skin.
Apple cider vinegar
The acid content in apple cider vinegar can soften the hard skin of a callus. Mix together a solution of four parts water and one part apple cider vinegar and soak your callus for about 20 minutes. When you remove your skin from this soak, you may be able to better peel a layer or two of the callus off. Don’t pull too hard, and try to be patient. Breaking the skin around or on top of the callus can result in an infection.
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