Calluses and corns are a common skin condition that affects the toes, bottom of the foot and heels. Calluses are thick and hard patch of skin that form on areas that experiences repeated pressure or friction.
Calluses appear as a bump of dry and hard skin on the toes and are often accompanied by pain or tenderness.
While this skin condition can affect people of all ages, it is more common in people with poor circulation or those suffering from diabetes or peripheral arterial disease.
While, there is a wide range of over-the-counter products containing Salicylic acid that can be used to remove calluses, you can also opt for home remedies using natural ingredients that help to treat the calluses without damaging the skin surrounding the affected area.
Home Remedies to Get Rid of Calluses
Castor Oil – The viscous nature of castor oil creates a protective layer on the calluses and corns and protects it from repeated friction from shoes. It also moisturizes the rough and dry skin of the calluses and softens them.
- Soak your feet in warm water for 10 minutes
- Scrub your feet with a pumice stone
- Now, soak a cotton ball in castor oil and apply it to the calluses
- Leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes
Tip – You can also soak the calluses in a mixture of apple cider vinegar and castor oil.
Onion – The strong acidic nature of onion helps to remove the calluses naturally. In addition, the antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties of onion help to heal inflammation and pain.
- Grate a medium-sized onion
- Apply this pulp to the calluses and secure with a tape
- Leave it overnight and then wash off with water
- Repeat this remedy once daily for a week
Apple Cider Vinegar – The potent acidic nature of apple cider vinegar acts as a natural exfoliant that removes the deposits of dry and dead skin cells and speeds of the healing process of the calluses.
- Soak a cotton ball in raw apple cider vinegar and place it on the callus
- Secure it with a tape and leave it overnight
- Exfoliate the area with a pumice stone the next morning
- Wash off with water and moisturize the area with olive or coconut oil
- Repeat this procedure once every day till the callus is gone completely
Epsom Salt Soak – This is by far the most popular way to remove callus and corns from foot. Epsom salt and warm water soak helps to soften the dead and dry skin cells and makes it easier to exfoliate the layers of hard skin away.
- Pour some warm water in a large tub
- Add a handful of Epsom salt to it and stir well
- Dip your feet in this warm soak and wait for 20 minutes
- Now, exfoliate your feet with a pumice stone and wash them with clean water
- Pat dry with a towel and moisturize with a cream or lotion
Baking Soda – The mild abrasive nature of baking soda makes it an excellent natural exfoliant that helps to remove the layer of hard dead skin cells and speeds up the healing process of the calluses.
- Make a paste by mixing baking soda with water
- Apply this paste to your feet and massage thoroughly for a few minutes
- Rub your feet with a pumice stone and then wash off with water
- Apply a lotion to your feet to moisturize it
Aspirin – Aspirin helps to treat calluses and corns by softening the hardened dry and dead skin cells around the callus. It also relives pain and soreness associated with the calluses.
- Crush 4 to 5 aspirin tablets into a fine powder
- Add 1/2 teaspoon each of lemon juice and water to it and mix well to make a paste
- Apply this paste to the calluses and corms and secure with a tape
- Leave it on for 20 minutes and then remove the tape
- Wash the area with lukewarm water
- Scrape off the dead skin cells by rubbing gently with a pumice stone
Bread and Vinegar – This is an extremely popular and widely used remedy for getting rid of calluses. While the bread is used as a means of application, it is the vinegar that helps to treat the calluses. The acidic nature of vinegar softens and exfoliates the dead and dry skin cells. The antibacterial and antifungal properties of vinegar heal inflammation.
- Soak half a slice of bread in vinegar
- Apply it to the affected area and secure with a tape
- Wear a sock and leave it on overnight
- Remove the bandage the next morning and exfoliate the area gently using a pumice stone
- Wash off with water and then apply a moisturizing lotion
Lemon – Citric acid present in lemon works as a natural exfoliant that helps to remove layers of dry and dead skin cells from the calluses and soothes any discomfort and pain. Both lemon juice and lemon peel can be used for treating calluses and corns.
- Soak a cotton ball in freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Apply it on the callus and secure with a bandage
- Leave it overnight and then remove the bandage
- Continue this treatment till the callus is gone completely
- You can also place a piece on lemon peel on the callus and secure it with a bandage
Chamomile Soak – Chamomile tea helps to change the pH of the skin to a healthy state and helps to dry out sweaty feet that causes repeated rubbing or friction. Anti-inflammatory properties of this tea soothe inflammation and heal pain and soreness of the calluses.
- Brew two cups of chamomile tea and pour it in a clean tub
- Dip your feet in this tea and soak for 15 to 20 minutes
- Do it on a daily basis for a week
Papaya – The enzyme papain present in papaya has the capacity to slough off dead and dry skin and its healing properties helps to soothe and heal inflammation.
- Mash a few pieces of ripe papaya to make a smooth paste
- Apply it to the calluses and secure with a bandage
- Leave it overnight
- Remove the bandage the next morning and wash off with water
Ways to prevent the formation of Calluses
Change the footwear – Calluses are most commonly formed as a result of using wrong footwear. Make it a point to wear properly fitting shoes. They should sit snug but should not hurt or rub on any part of your feet. If you already have a callus then you can used a padding to reduce the pressure on the callus.
Opt for Occasional Foot Soaks – Soaking your feet in Epsom salt bath helps to keep your skin soft and well-hydrated and prevents the formation of calluses.
Keep your hands and feet moisturized – Apply a moisturizing lotion or cream to your hands and feet on a daily basis. Reapply it whenever you feel you feet getting dry.
Wash your feet – Use a washcloth to exfoliate your feet every day when you take a bath. This helps to remove dead skin cells and dry skin from the feet.
Avoid wearing shoes with heels or pointed toes – Wearing shoes with high heels or pointed toes keeps your feet at an uncomfortable posture that leads to repeated rubbing and leads to the development of calluses and corns.
Try out these home remedies to get rid of calluses and corns naturally and follow the above mentioned preventive measures to avoid the formation of calluses in the first place. Make it a point to see a doctor if you think that your calluses are not responding to these remedies.