If you’re, say, one Olympic gymnast or a specialized guitarist, you’re probably really proud of her hard-earned calluses. However for the rest of united state mere mortals, those hardened great of skin can be painful and less than pleasant to look at.

“Calluses result from repeated friction, rubbing, pressure, and irritation on the skin,” says Sandy Skotnicki, M.D., a Toronto-based dermatologist and also author that Beyond Soap. They type wherever there’s a continuous source that friction—mainly the bottom of your foot, ~ above the bony locations that carry your weight, consisting of the ball, the huge toe, and the side.

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They have the right to also form on the hands of anyone who performs a repeated activity where over there is constant rubbing, such as grabbing uneven bars, lifting weights, or even doing crafts, gardening, or housework. “Calluses are what your body does to safeguard you from trauma—it’s favor your skin developing armor or a shield,” claims Mona Gohara, M.D., combine clinical professor that dermatology at Yale school of Medicine and member the priziv.org’s medical Review Board.

If you an alert there is blood or redness within the callus, that is leading to you a good deal that pain, or you have diabetes or negative circulation, make an appointment through your podiatrist or dermatologist to have it evaluated and also treated safely.

However, in plenty of mild cases, calluses space not permanent and you deserve to treat lock at home with a an approach Dr. Gohara call “soak, sand, and smear.”

How to get rid of calluses safely

1. Prevent them in the first place by reduce friction.

To stop new calluses from forming and also to provide your old persons time to heal, include moleskin padding to the areas in her shoes where you feeling the many friction, and wear safety gloves when you’re functioning out or doing family members chores that space rough on your hands.

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2. Leave it alone.

If the callus isn’t bothering you also much, you have the right to just let it soften over time, yet consider skip those high heels or obtaining refitted for to run shoes.

3. Soak in warm, soapy water.

To soften up the skin (and give yourself a be sure spa experience while you’re in ~ it), soak your feet or hands in sudsy water. You deserve to use any kind of soap friend prefer, yet Dr. Gohara is a pan of epsom salts, which are anti-inflammatory and additionally have a little bit of grit, which will aid with the following step.

4. Try manual exfoliation (“sand” it).

After your skin has softened in the water, submerge a pumice stone, emery board, or foot paper in water for a few seconds and also use it come gently walk over the hardened skin. (Be mindful not to remove the whole callus, Dr. Skotnicki says, because the area still needs some protection against pressure.) Dr. Gohara states you can even use fine-grain sandpaper, for what she jokingly calls a “Home Depot pedicure.”