It's not unusual for people to develop calluses in their feet. Usually, calluses don't cause much of a problem other than making your feet less attractive. However, when dealing with calluses, people do sometimes make mistakes that can make the problem worse. Keep these dos and don'ts in mind if you have foot calluses, so you can improve your foot's appearance without making matters worse.
Don't mistake a corn for a callus.
Calluses are areas where the skin has thickened as a response to ongoing friction or pressure against your foot. You'll often find them on your heels and the bottoms of your big toes. Calluses are not painful and though many people do take measures to get rid of them, this really is not necessary. Corns are similar to calluses, but they have a pointed shape, whereas calluses are flat. Corns often press on nerves, causing pain. Thus, it's important not to ignore a corn. You should see a podiatrist if you have a corn, as he or she can remove them to alleviate your pain.
Don't clip a callus away with nail clippers or scissors.
A lot of people do this, but it's not a good idea. You could cut too deeply and injure your skin, exposing yourself to infection. If you're a diabetic, it's especially unwise to cut your own calluses, as a resulting infection could spread easily due to the reduced circulation many diabetics experience. If your callus is so large that you feel it must be cut away, have a podiatrist or doctor do this for you.
Do use a pumice stone to slowly scrub away your calluses.
This is a much safer way to treat calluses at home. Soak your foot in a warm bath to soften the skin, and then use a pumice stone to slowly wear away the calluses. You will probably have to repeat this several times before your calluses become nearly undetectable.
Do try to identify the cause of your calluses.
If you want to prevent your calluses from getting worse or coming back, it's important to figure out why they're appearing. Try on the pairs of shoes that you wear most regularly. Which ones press or rub on the callused areas? Wearing these shoes less often (or not at all) should help your callus problem.
Calluses are annoying, but they should not cause you too much concern. If you wish to get rid of yours, follow the tips above, but know that even if you do absolutely nothing for your calluses, the only real consequence is "ugly" feet.
For expert help, contact a podiatrist such as Dr. Maurice Levy.