Last Updated on November 29, 2023 by Martina McKeough
Calluses on your feet are not only unsightly but that hardened skin can also cause you discomfort and foot pain. That is why learning how to prevent calluses on feet and finding ways to remove existing corns or calluses is important for your foot health and well-being.
I know from personal experience that hard skin isn’t pleasant but over the years I have found ways to minimize it and also have found some great products that help to remove it.
Here’s what you should know if you want to stop developing calluses and keep your feet looking soft.
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How Do You Stop Calluses From Forming?
So first of all what can you do to prevent calluses from forming in the first place? If you don’t have a medical condition that causes calluses there are some specific things you can do to prevent them from forming in the first place. Here are some of the main things that you can do to stop the problem.
- Wear Proper Shoes
- Wear the Correct Socks
- Taking Care of Foot Abnormalities
- Losing Weight
- Wearing Sandals Less
Wear Proper Shoes
If you want to know how to avoid calluses on your feet then make sure you wear proper shoes to stop them in the first place.
If you are a lover of high-heeled shoes then they are going to put pressure on your feet. Also shoes that are too tight or too loose are going to cause repeated friction and allow a callus to form.
Comfortable shoes that fit properly and have good arch support and cushioning are going to be much better for your feet and prevent hard skin from forming.
Wear the Right Socks
Believe it or not, it isn’t only shoes that can give you calluses but socks as well. Wearing socks that are the wrong size can also cause problems and lead to corns and calluses.
This is a really easy thing to remedy and simply involves buying good moisture-wicking socks to wear instead of cheaper ill-fitting ones.
Foot Abnormalities Can Cause Calluses
Any foot abnormalities that put increased pressure on certain areas of the foot can mean that you may develop calluses. Doing what you can to manage any underlying cause can help. As an example wearing arch supports if you have flat feet may prevent repeated pressure causing hard skin.
If you are overweight then those extra pounds are going to take their toll on your feet. That extra pressure as you walk means you are more likely to get a corn or callus. Losing weight reduces that pressure and helps to prevent problems.
Avoid Wearing Sandals and Flip Flops
If you are a regular wearer of sandals and flip-flops then I hate to break it to you but you are going to need to minimize their use of you want to avoid corns and calluses.
Sandals and flip-flops are less supportive than other forms of footwear and that means extra friction and foot problems. Wearing enclosed well-fitting shoes can help with the normal alignment of the foot thereby preventing hard skin.
Why Do Calluses Keep Coming Back?
Learning how to prevent calluses on feet means discovering the underlying cause of your problem because if you don’t do this the issue will continue.
Hardened layers of skin develop as a result of friction on your feet and help to protect your foot from damage. They will continue to form if you are still wearing the wrong shoes or don’t lose weight. Resolve the underlying issue however and the hard corns and calluses can be prevented from returning.
Is It Better to Leave Calluses on Your Feet?
If you do have calluses on your feet should you go out of your way to remove them? Well, this answer depends on whether they are causing you a problem or not.
Calluses are actually protecting your feet from damage so in many cases they may actually be helping rather than causing you any problems.
If however your corns or calluses are causing you discomfort or foot pain then it makes sense to think about reducing their size or getting them removed professionally by a foot specialist.
Here are some things you can do to treat calluses and help prevent the thick areas of skin from causing you pain.
How To Stop Calluses on Feet
Learning how to prevent calluses on feet is only half the story if you already have them and want to find ways to lessen the problem and remove existing dead skin cells. Here are some of my favorite methods to prevent and remove calluses with the minimum of fuss or effort.
Shoes To Prevent Calluses
The best place to start when you want to prevent calluses on your feet is to look at your footwear.
The wrong shoes or sneakers can cause significant problems so it is important to find products that take the pressure off your feet and help to support natural foot alignment when you walk.
Vionic Brisk Miles Leisure Sneakers are a great choice as they have arch support, a cushioned outsole and they are flexible. They also come in standard and wide fittings meaning that finding the best fit for your feet is easier. As these shoes also have laces you can tighten or loosen them to make sure that they fit perfectly.
Vionics have a whole range of other orthopedic shoes to choose from as well to help keep your feet comfortable.
Taking a Foot Bath in Epsom Salts
Basic foot hygiene and maintenance can also go a long way to removing dead skin from your feet and keeping your skin soft.
Taking a bath in Epsom salts for example can help to soften hard skin which can then be removed with a foot file or pumice stone. If this is done regularly it will prevent any hardened skin from developing and causing painful corns and calluses.
If you are using a foot file or pumice stone remember to choose a good one. I’ve tried plenty over the years and found that cheap foot files don’t remove the calluses well and are actually painful to use.
Instead, I invested in a Diamencel Foot file that helps to remove dead skin but does not injure my feet. Mine has lasted me for years! Yes, it may be more expensive than an ordinary foot file but I have probably had mine for 10 years now and it is still as good as the day I got it so it was a great investment.
Callus Prevention and Reduction With a Removal Tool
Foot files are great at removing calluses after a foot bath but there are plenty of other electronic tools now that can also work well, especially on dry skin.
Electronic foot files to remove callus formations are useful if your problem is more extensive. These do the hard work for you and all you need to do is hold them up to the hard skin and they will do their work without damaging your feet.
This Own Harmony electronic foot file is a great example of a tool you could use with thousands of positive reviews and a two-year warranty.
Use a Foot Peel Mask
These masks are a revelation! They take a little time to do but the results are amazing especially if you have never done one before.
You just soak your feet in warm water for half an hour and then place them into the specially provided plastic booties for 90 minutes. Wash off any product and then wait to see what happens over the next week.
You should find that whole areas of skin start to peel off your feet (including the hard calluses) and you are left with baby-soft skin. Just make sure you don’t wear sandals for the week after otherwise, everyone will be staring at your feet for all the wrong reasons.
Whilst you shouldn’t use these masks every week they are a great way to get your feet ready for spring and summer and help remove calluses without causing damage to your skin.
Moisturize Your Feet
If you do remove any corns or calluses on your feet after an Epsom salts bath don’t forget to moisturize afterward. This helps to keep your feet soft and supple.
Dry feet can crack and develop fissures if you are not careful so keeping them well moisturized doesn’t just stop hard skin but also can prevent further foot problems and infections.
A good moisturizing cream for feet such as Ebanel Urea Cream can help with the reduction of callus formation.
How to Prevent Calluses on Heels
If you are prone to calluses that appear on your heels then the methods I have already mentioned should work but there are a couple of extra things you can do as well.
Firstly think about wearing cushioned socks especially if you are wearing boots or shoes as the padding can help prevent some of the friction that could be causing your problem.
Secondly, you may want to buy some heel protectors or heel cups. These are stretchy silicone devices that can be slipped onto the heel to protect that area and relieve pressure. These can be rinsed and washed to keep them clean so they are an easy hygienic solution to the problem.
How to Prevent Calluses on Balls of Feet
If it is the balls of your feet that have a problem then there are a number of products that you can use to help. Metatarsal pads in particular are a great product that can be put on over the front of your foot and have cushioning that helps to prevent pressure-causing calluses on the balls of your feet.
I however prefer a simpler approach and that is to place a half insole in the front of my shoe which cushions my feet as I walk. Mine can last for months depending on how much walking I do and not only prevent calluses but also make my shoes feel more comfortable.
Hopefully, these tips on how to prevent calluses on feet can help increase your comfort and prevent pain or problems with your feet. All of these are relatively easy and cheap solutions to the problem and will keep the skin on your feet soft and free from hard skin.
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