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Any good ways to get rid of excess calluses?  RSS feed

 
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Approximately 4 years ago, I began to get serious about going barefoot, not just at home but wherever I could. Unfortunately, it so happened that I had a plantar wart at that time, which rubbed on the ground in such a way that an uncomfortable callus grew around it. Now the wart is long gone, but the callus is still there, and it just keeps growing back, no matter how many times I trim it back with nail clippers.

Do you think my doctor was any help? HA! He seemed to think the by-then gone plantar wart was the problem, and did a cryofreeze treatment (which I could have gotten over the counter for a lot less money). And caustic "callus remover" products from the pharmacy were painful and did not get rid of the callus.

A few days ago, I saw some kind of video on the 'net supposedly about a wonderful way to get rid of calluses, cracks in the feet, etc., etc. Only problem was, the video spent so much time talking up how wonderful it was for this 'n that 'n the other, it wasn't actually getting around to saying what the supposed technique was. I wasn't about to watch a half hour video that for all I knew might turn out to be nothing more than an infomercial for some expensive quackery!

Most of the calluses on my feet serve a purpose; but this one in particular is really out of place and uncomfortable. Does anyone know how to get rid of a persistent callus?
 
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The age old way is using a pumice stone and water. Then, followed by rubbing the area with a small drop of olive oil.
 
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Does anyone know how to get rid of a persistent callus?



I had some success removing calluses by using baking soda. I had calluses due to walking on coral sand/gravel(I lived in the tropics for several years).

How to: Put some(1-2 tsp) baking soda inside each of a pair of finely-woven socks(something like poly/nylon, not cotton/crew), shake the socks so the baking soda is evenly spread across the sock foot-pads, and wear them while you sleep. Use fresh socks/baking soda each night. After about a few days to a week of this any hard/callused skin on your feet will start to peel off, kinda like how dead skin peels off after a sunburn. I only had small/thin calluses, so yours might take longer.

Pros: No more calluses!
Cons: Baking soda made my feet sweat a lot while I was using it, until maybe a few days afterwards. After my calluses were gone, my feet were more sensitive, I couldn't just traipse around in the sand/gravel willy-nilly. I hate wearing socks while sleeping.

Good luck!
 
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I soak in a bathtub, but it can just be a foot bath. Having the water pretty warm probably will help. This softens all the tough places and I mostly scratch them off with my fingernails. (If that’s gross to you, you could use any thin edged implement you find effective, like maybe a metal nail file held on edge.) A pumice stone gets filled up too fast to be of much use to me. You can also find battery powered buffing devices, but I’ve never tried one. I suppose a rotary tool like Dremel makes with a fine sanding barrel tip could help—only be careful not to burn yourself. Use the slowest speed with a very light touch. I do this with my doggies’ toenails, and the podiatrist uses one when she does my mom’s toenails and callouses. She also trims the callouses (thinly!) with a scalpel.

If I have cracks, I trim the edges with a cuticle clipper after scraping off as much waterlogged callous as I can do first. I like going barefoot, but I see no reason to be religious about it. If my heels crack, I wear socks and shoes after rubbing in a good thick lotion. If lotions aren’t natural enough for you to feel comfortable with using them, any semi-solid fat will do.This helps the skin to stay moist and heal.

You can use super glue for deep cracks if that’s not objectionable to you. Sometimes it can help. There’s medical super glue, but ime it costs more and doesn’t work as well— and the brand I looked at also contained the cyanoacrylate my DH objects to. Well, he doesn’t have cracked heels, and doesn’t understand how much they hurt. Besides, the podiatrist told me it was safe. You might also consider increasing natural fats in your diet. Our skin needs them to stay healthy—and of course you’ll want to drink plenty of water.

Good luck treating your sore feet. I know how frustrating that can be.
 
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I've had some small ones that irritated me just by being there, didn't hurt thankfully,  i cut them with supersharp tiny nail scissors very carefully and then filed it down smooth. You've got to be careful not to hit the underlaying skin when cutting. Less drastic measures on wikihow. Vinegar / chamomille etc
https://www.wikihow.com/Get-Rid-of-Calluses
 
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Jason Hernandez wrote:Does anyone know how to get rid of a persistent callus?



Change your gait? Are you scuffing when you walk? Using a tool that always rubs in the same place? Is the callus coming from the shoes you wear when you aren't barefoot?
 
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You guys are going to laugh, but I am not joking; I use a belt sander. It makes quick work of the problem with 100 grit.

But keep in mind I also took a chainsaw to the face, so I am tougher then a bag of hammers. Okay, maybe three. (Only joking: on the bag of hammers part, not the belt sander)
 
Hugo Morvan
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@travis, haha, you know you're a permie when you use a bandsander to rid you of calusses to get the job done quicker. Maybe a edit on wikihow?
 
Travis Johnson
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I had an issue with my heels and it really hurt, so I found a way to cure it. Now I might be tough enough to take a chainsaw to the face and survive, but gosh darn it I like my soft, girlie feet (though not said to offend any woman with "girlie feet", nor women with manly feet for that matter.) :-)
 
Jason Hernandez
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Joseph Lofthouse wrote:

Jason Hernandez wrote:Does anyone know how to get rid of a persistent callus?



Change your gait? Are you scuffing when you walk? Using a tool that always rubs in the same place? Is the callus coming from the shoes you wear when you aren't barefoot?



I already explained the origin of this particular callus: it grew around a plantar wart. The matching toe on the other foot has no matching callus.
 
Travis Johnson
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Not to change the topic any, but sometimes a person just cannot change their gait.

I know I cannot. I had knee surgery and I was supposed to take 6 weeks for it to heal; it was 6 months! The physical therapist was upset that it was not working, kept after me to "strengthen it", accusted me of not doing the stretches and workouts at home, but in the end it was actually my archilles tennon that was the trouble. I had limped on a bad knee for a year and a half (I am a farmer, when is a good time of year to have knee surgery?), so when surgery had to be done, damage was severe. Intensive massage on my archilles tennon got the knee muscles to finally heal, but to this day my right foot is kicked out like half a penguin. You can see it when I walk in the snow. I simply do not have the physical structure in my knee to keep my foot in alignment.

It really sucks when Dr's take out body parts on you.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Travis Johnson wrote:Not to change the topic any, but sometimes a person just cannot change their gait.



I have been consciously and methodically working on changing my gait for two years. It's been a slow (and painful) process fraught with injury and setback. and also filled with healing. I still have a long way to go before I will feel like I have a "consistently proper" gait.

When I originally started walking and running barefoot, two of my toes would drag on the ground, causing the skin to wear off those toes until they bled. That was an ongoing chronic condition. I coped by either just bleeding, or by putting tape over the spot that was getting rubbed raw.   The toes had very limited mobility, and the end joint seemed seized up. After being out of shoes for about 6 months, the tendons had stretched enough that the toes weren't rubbing on the ground, and the bleeding stopped. After about 1.7 years, the end joints in those toes acquired a very slight amount of mobility. The toes spent 50 years getting into that condition, I can be patient as they work through regaining mobility. All manner of other joints in my feet and ankles, started becoming (more) mobile after being essentially immobile for most of my life. That created a lot of  pain, over an extended time, as one joint or another gained mobility, then started aching due to the atrophied muscles and ligaments being strengthened.

One huge benefit of living habitually barefoot, is that my knees, hips, back, and neck also realigned, and chronic pain in those joints and muscles disappeared.  My calf-muscles and Achilles tendon seem like they are finally getting to the point where a consistently proper gait seems possible. They have been the area most prone to overuse injury. I am going to need to change my wardrobe, because my calf-muscles are becoming too big to fit comfortably into the styles of blue-jeans that I have worn my whole life.

So back to the callus issue... I have noticed when working on the farm with hand tools, that calluses tend to form when a shearing/friction motion is present. For example by twisting a tool in my hands. They don't form much at all, if the force applied to the tool is exactly perpendicular to the hands. I only have one callus left on my feet. That is on the outside of my big toe, over the spot where there was a lot of friction for many decades. Places where my feet currently meet the ground are not forming calluses, because the force applied is perpendicular to the ground, and I am not twisting my feet  on the ground. So when I wonder about gait, I am wondering if some sort of twisting/scuffing motion is occurring while moving. I notice when I walk or run barefoot, that my stride length is much shorter than while walking shod. I wonder if long-stride length might be contributing to the recurring callus?

Jason: I wonder where the callus is located that is  causing you trouble?



 
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There is prevention and there is after the fact reactive care.

Even if you were to some how sand it down, your body will remake it if you keep on doing the same thing that made it appear.

If you go to walgreen/cvs you can get Salicylic Acid. Which is related to willow if you want a more natural form.
Next is to just file it down or cut it down.
Callus is normally causes by excess friction.
So You might have to work on your grip strength to reduce slippage/friction or bio-mechanics.
You might have to wear gloves.
You might have to buy bigger more padded shoes or at least better socks.
You might just have to bite the bullet and get some type of motorized tool, put down the axe and get a chainsaw.

 
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I get some good buildups gapping on my feet and hands I just scrape them off with a knife after a good soak.
 
Jason Hernandez
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Joseph Lofthouse wrote:

Jason: I wonder where the callus is located that is  causing you trouble?



Base of one big toe, facing the second toe. If I wore flip flops I could see ongoing rubbing there, but haven't for many years. And in any case, there is no such callus on the opposite big toe, where there had not been a plantar wart.
 
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Jason I feel your pain, as I experienced plantar warts in 1973 and had them excised in outpatient surgery!!!   Will never have surgery again unless I'm dying.   ANyhoo,   I don't know if my suggestion will help your painful and chronic calluses but just this year I've been experimenting with the miracle of comfrey poultices and salve.   In fact, just this week my annual thumb problem of deep, painful cracks at the outer corners of the nails,  which usually took a couple weeks of slathering vaseline and lotions on them,    I just resolved in two days by applying comfrey oil (made it myself with crushed leaves soaked in olive oil for several weeks.  No pain, the dead skin is softening, and it's getting better instead of worse as usual.   It's also softening the dry, alligator skin on the inside of the thumb nuckles where my tools rub constantly - much more effective than any lotions or balms.

You might want to do a little more research on comfrey but I think everybody should have a tin of it in their medicine cabinet.   Soak your feet in epsom salts, then scrape them per others' instructions, and then give your feet a lengthy massage with comfrey every night when you take your boots off.
 
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I had one that kept growing back after cutting it off (it would bleed when cut flush with the skin) and got it to go away by applying a yarrow poultice.
 
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I second some of the beforesaid, especially friction causing calluses and sometimes unconscious movements causing that friction. One question that I would ask, though: Did the wart disappear before or after you went shoeless? I am asking because plantar warts can be pushed into the skin to a point, where they can be completely overgrown by callus. So maybe your wart is still there, but "underground", leading to more friction in the surrounding skin. Regarding treatment, I would recommend urea cream, at least 10%, to soften the callus. Often, it rubs off on its own after that.
 
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