How do calluses form and what are the best ways to treat it?

All day, our feet work hard, being rubbed, pressed or squeezed from contact with the floor and our footwear – even when we’re sitting down. Over time, this can cause the skin to become compressed or thickened, dry and hard. A bit of toughness to the feet can be a helpful way for the body to protect itself (you’ll know this if you’ve ever walked barefoot in the park), but when patches of thick, rough and very hard skin – known as calluses – appear, it can cause irritation and look unattractive.

The soles of the feet around the heel and balls are particularly prone to calluses as these are areas that are under the most pressure. Activities that put your feet under even more pressure mean you’re at a higher risk of developing calluses.

If you’ve got calluses, don’t worry – it’s easy to get your feet feeling soft and supple again:

  1. Stop whatever is causing the added strain (if you can!) by investing in a better fitting pair of shoes or throwing out old socks.
  2. Add some extra cushioning to your feet with specialist shoe soles or gel pads.
  3. Regularly soak the feet to soften them and use a pumice stone or foot file to remove hard skin.
  4. Moisturize regularly with a cream or balm specifically for feet, such as Flexitol Callus remover cream or Flexitol Heel Balm. Try massaging it in for an added circulation boost!    


Here are some of the most common callus culprits: