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How Can I Get Rid Of Hard Skin On My Feet?

Hard skin on your feet could either be corns, calluses or both. Calluses are common on the soles of your feet whereas corns appear on the top of your feet, particularly around the 4th and 5th toes. The main cause of hard skin on your feet is pressure and friction between your feet and shoes from moving around too much. Some risk factors which increase your likelihood of developing foot calluses include having flat feet or high arches, as well as being overweight. Hard skin on your feet will occur as a protection mechanism to your skin from further damage. In other words, it is usually a response to repeated stress and injuries on your skin from too much movement that is damaging.[1] [2]

How Can I Get Rid Of Hard Skin On My Feet?

How Can I Get Rid Of Hard Skin On My Feet?

Corns and calluses can become painful over time as they become tender and sore. So, removing and treating hard skin early on is a much better choice than ignoring it. The best thing in treating hard skin on your feet is that it is not a major health concern and if not severe, can easily be treated at home. Here are some of the ways you can treat corns and calluses at the comfort of your home;

  • Exfoliate your skin by using either physical or chemical exfoliators. For example; foot scrubs, electronic callus removers, and foot peels. Chemical exfoliators contain substances that dissolve dead cells such as lactic acid, glycolic acid, and alpha-hydroxy acid. Regardless, some may contain artificial fragrances and alcohol which may irritate your skin. So, be cautious when buying foot peels by checking on the contents for any potential irritants or allergens.
  • Do a foot soak. This involves soaking your feet in warm water to soothe and loosen dry skin. On top of that, it enhances blood circulation, which can help in preventing dry skin. Instead of using just warm water, you can add Epsom salt, honey, lemon juice, vinegar or peppermint essential oil for added benefits to your feet.
  • Use a pumice stone or foot file to get rid of dry skin on your feet. After soaking your feet in warm water, wet the pumice stone or foot file in the same warm water and gently rub on the hard skin. If using a pumice stone, rub in a circular motion, and if using a foot file, rub the hard skin back-and-forth gently. Once you are done, rinse your feet off and pat them dry with a clean towel, then moisturize with oil, lotion or cream.
  • Regularly moisturize your feet to help reduce dry skin and prevent more dry skin from forming. Use moisturizing oil, lotion or cream containing humectants, emollients and occlusive and avoid those with artificial fragrances, colors, and alcohol.
  • Wear moisturizing socks for extra hydration especially when going to bed. The socks are usually gel-lined with natural oils and vitamins which will help hydrate your skin and repair any dry skin on your feet. Alternatively, after moisturizing your feet, you can slip on a pair of breathable cotton socks, sleep with them and when you take them off in the morning, rinse your feet.[3]

Preventing Re-Development Of Hard Skin On Your Feet

The best way to protect your feet from developing dry skin again is by determining the cause in the first place. So, if you have been wearing poorly fitting shoes which cause friction, you need to avoid them. Wear fitting shoes and, for further protection, you can wear your shoes with protective gear such as padded shoe inserts.

Moisturizing regularly will also help in preventing re-development of hard skin. After taking a bath or showering, make sure you apply moisturizing lotion or oil on your feet.[2] Other ways of preventing hard skin from developing on your feet include avoiding lotions, soaps and body washes with potential irritants such as added fragrances, bathing or showering with warm water instead of hot and gently patting your feet dry rather than vigorously rubbing on them after bathing or showering.[3]


Our feet are subjected to hard skin because we wear shoe day-in-day-out. Needless say, our feet are what we use to get to wherever we want. We walk, run and stand on our feet, so all that can have a toll on your feet. Having foot calluses or corns is not a health-threatening condition, but it can become uncomfortable and painful.[1] By embracing the aforementioned ways of getting rid of hard skin, you can heal your calluses and corns and be sure your feet will be as happy as ever.


Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:July 1, 2019

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