How to Heal Calluses
Although by no means life threatening, calluses on the hands and feet can be mildly painful and at the very least annoying. An abnormal thickening of the top layer of skin, calluses are formed when the skin is repeatedly exposed to some sort of friction, rubbing or pressure.
Calluses on the hands can be caused by repeated usage of tools like hammers, weed-wackers and lawn mowers, weight lifting and playing a musical stringed instrument such as the guitar or violin. They can start to appear on the feet due to walking barefoot on hard surfaces, on the knees after a project such as laying tile or carpet , or on the feet after running or walking for prolonged distances without the proper footwear.
When you notice a rough and reddened area of the body where the skin seems to have thickened, a callus has started to form. The skin may start to turn yellow or reddish in color and there may be slight pain or a light burning sensation.
How does a callus differ from a wart? A dermatologist can determine if a thickened patch of skin is a callus by paring off a very thin slice to reveal yellow keratin, the natural protein that comprises the skin.
Only in extremely severe cases is surgery needed to remove calluses. Once you are aware of the problem, there are steps to take to help get rid of them and help eliminate their recurrence. Self-treatment, however, is never recommended for those suffering from diabetes or circulatory problems and these individuals should ask their primary care physician for medical help in removing calluses to avoid the risk of infection.
A keratin-dissolving medication such as salacylic acid is helpful in dissolving callusses from hands, fingers or feet. Each time you are in the bath or the shower, use a pumice stone once the callus is wet to gradually thin out the hard thickness over time.
Once calluses have been thinned away or dissolved, there are steps you can take to prevent their returning or forming in new places. Wear gloves when working with heavy equipment or tools and try to vary your pattern of holding an item so that the same area of skin doesn’t receive repeated friction. Wear shoes when walking or running on hard surfaces and be sure to wear comfortable socks to cushion your skin against repeated rubbing against the shoe’s leather.