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Five Ways to Soothe and Smooth Corns and Calluses - You CAN Have Pretty Feet!

Updated on February 1, 2010

Not only are corns and calluses…well, ugly…they can be painful too! So what exactly are corns and calluses? Well my foot loving friends…those lovely lumps and bumps on your feet are mounds of dead skin cells that have collected over time from wear and tear. Lovely, I know…who doesn't love mounds of dead skin cells!? Corns and Calluses form for a variety of reasons but mainly because of friction and irritation caused by ill fitting shoes! Women often develop corns and calluses because they choose to wear stilettos and other shoes that…though fashionable…are hard on the feet!

So now that we know what corns and calluses are…what is the difference between the two? Calluses are your body's way of protecting itself from uncomfortable situations (like the pressure an unnatural pointy shoe may put on your big toe). When you wear a pair of uncomfortable shoes for a long period of time…your feet begin to develop calluses in order to relieve some of the pressure…sort of like padding. Over time, the callus will turn into a corn. How will you know when a corn has developed? Well, for one thing, it will hurt! However, the most telling sign is that the center of the callus has developed a hard core (known as a corn).


Ways to Soothe and Smooth Corns and Calluses

So now that you know what corns and calluses actually are….how can you smooth…or better yet…soothe them!? Read below for some great ideas.

  • A Good Soak Never Hurt Anyone! – Who hasn't soaked their feet after a long day at work or an all day hike! To temporarily relieve the pain that usually accompanies corns and calluses…sit back, relax and soak your feet! Simply mix together a solution of warm water and Epsom salt and soak away! Though soaking will bring relief…be warned…the second you put your feet back into ill-fitting, uncomfortable shoes…the pain WILL return. Some people (who don't have corns and calluses) enjoy soaking their feet simply because it is relaxing and refreshing! If you are such a person…consider investing in one of the many home foot spas that are on the market. Home foot spas have become quite popular and come in MANY different makes and models (from inexpensive…to very expensive!).

  •  It's All About the Insoles, People! – Millions of people suffer from foot problems (hence the reason for large, successful companies such as Dr. Scholls!). If you have corns and calluses it would be a very good idea to invest in some GOOD shoe insoles! Insoles are a somewhat inexpensive way to relive pressure and ease aching feet. I recommend that you purchase a pair of foam insoles and wear them in your favorite pair of shoes for one week. After one week, remove them. Your calluses will actually leave impressions in the foam indicating the areas of greatest stress. Interesting! There are many different types of insoles on the market so you may have to try several in order to find the ones that feel the best. Personally, I am addicted to gel insoles. When I wear gel insoles…each and every step I take feels cushioned and comfortable!


  • File them Down, then Lotion them Up! – It is important to note that BEFORE you treat your calluses, it is very important that you soak your feet in hot water first (not too hot...don't burn yourself)! This will soften the skin and enable you to remove the dead particles. After a good soak, use a callus file or pumice stone and lightly scrape or rub the area. The goal here is to remove THE TOP LAYER OF SKIN ONLY. If you have a corn…be EXTRA careful (not to mention gentle) as too much abrasive rubbing can make the corn very tender…which can lead to pain. Once you have removed the top layer of dead skin, it is very important that you apply a foot cream that contains twenty percent urea. This ingredient helps to dissolve and remove hard skin. If you have BAD calluses…make this part of your daily routine. If you do…one day…you will have beautiful, smooth feet! Before I forget…I want to tell you that some times, a little callus is a good thing! For example, if you are a beach bum…and love to go barefoot in the summer…most likely, you have developed calluses on your heels. If they aren't too bad…or heaven forbid, painful…let them be as they serve as protection! Also, DON'T play doctor and pick at your feet with sharp instruments. RESIST the temptation to play bathroom surgeon (doing so can lead to nasty infections...or worse!).


  • Stretch Out Those Shoes! – In some cases…all you need to do in order to find much needed foot pain relief is simple stretching. NO…you don't have to go to the gym…I'm talking about stretching out your shoes! As previously mentioned, shoes are the number one reason your feet hurt in the first place! Take the shoes that you wear most often to a shoemaker and he or she will be happy to help. There are also shoe stretching solutions that you can purchase that will do the trick (for example, check out Meltonian Shoe Stretch). Applying such a solution will enable the leather fibers (that your shoes are made of) to stretch while you walk. Be sure to follow the directions EXACTLY before applying any shoe solution as you don't want to ruin your expensive, leather shoes!
  • Shoes, Shoes, Shoes! – When it comes to caring for your feet the style and fit of the shoes that you choose to wear is key! The most important thing to think about when purchasing a new pair of shoes is THE FIT and FEEL! Sorry ladies…but sometimes you need to set aside style and fashion in order to have healthy, pain-free feet (did I just hear gasping!?). Remember…if the shoes that you purchase do not fit you correctly…they WILL…and I can promise you this…cause foot problems in the future! Sorry to tell you this…but high heels are just about the worst thing you can put on your feet. Think about it…high heels are not natural and put unnecessary pressure on parts of your feet that well…are just not used to it (hence the reason corns and calluses form in the first place). If you must wear high heels, make sure they have extra cushioning inside (especially towards the front). If they don't…visit your local shoemaker and he will gladly put some in. Trust me, you will be glad you did (and your feet will thank you!).

Corns and calluses are unsightly, not to mention painful. Thank goodness there are things you can do to soothe and smooth them! If, after treating your corns and calluses…they do not get better (or are causing you great pain)…don’t hesitate to visit your doctor. He or she will most likely recommend a good podiatrist. If you want to avoid corns and calluses all together…then it's all about the shoes! Shoes that fit correctly and are well cushioned are best! Good luck and here's to pretty, healthy, pain-free feet!

If you would like to read about toenail fungus and various toenail fungus remedies, don't hesitate to visit the Toenail Fungus Remedy Blog! It is quite interesting and informative!

Also, feel free to visit my HUB: HELP! My Dogs are Barking! Tips to Ease Aching Feet!


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