Calluses on your feet can be thick, hard, and even painful. Depending on the severity of your calluses, you may need to head into the podiatrist’s office for a proper pedicure. But, if you’re able to manage them at home, you need to be careful about what tools you use. Diane Koshimune, DMP, a podiatrist in San Jose, California, says you want to keep scalpels and pedicure knifes (aka those sharp tools that essentially shave dead skin off of your feet) out of your DIY pedicure kit.
“More and more people come in stating that they have used a scalpel on themselves,” says Dr. Koshimune. “Of course, some people are quite flexible and have a steady hand where they might be safe in using a scalpel blade on themselves. But due to limitations in the visibility of certain parts of the foot—for example, the outer border of the foot, the pinky side—using things like a scalpel to reduce or remove calluses can cause injury to the skin and subcutaneous tissue layers.”
With proper prep, you can manage your calluses without using a single blade. Here’s how to remove calluses the right way.
How to remove calluses at home, the safe way
1. Soak your feet
Calluses tend to be hard, which makes them difficult to remove. To fix that, Dr. Koshimune recommends soaking them beforehand, either by taking a bath or using a foot spa ($25). “After a bath or after soaking, the skin will have absorbed some water,” she says, making it easier to remove the built-up skin.
2. Use a pumice stone
Dr. Koshimune says a pumice stone ($4) is a great option to safely remove calluses. With your feet nice and soft from your soak, take a pumice stone and glide it back and forth on your feet to help file off the thickened skin. Use a bristle brush ($9) and a dab of soap to clean your stone after every use.
3. Moisturize to finish
Once you’ve removed the calluses, it’s time to moisturize your feet. Dr. Koshimune likes the O’Keeffe’s Healthy Feet Foot Cream ($11) since it contains ingredients like glycerin to help lock moisture into your feet. It’s best to moisturize while your feet are still wet to get the best absorption and to help the skin hold onto some of the water it’s soaked up.
Here are more tips for caring for dry skin:
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