Calluses typically form in places that receive constant pressure, such as your feet. They protect a vulnerable spot from damage with a layer of thickened skin. But when calluses show through in strappy heels or embarrass you, it's time to smooth them out. By softening the skin before doing some heavy-duty exfoliating, you can reveal softer, smoother skin beneath your calluses.
Brew a cup of chamomile tea, which can help soften the thick skin of a callus, according to Suzanne M. Levine, D.P.M., clinical assistant podiatrist at Mount Sinai Hospital. Fill a tub with about 8 to 10 inches of water, pour in the cup of tea and soak your feet for 10 minutes. Do this in the evening before bed so you can moisturize your skin overnight.
Pat your feet dry with a towel, and locate any calluses. Rub a pumice stone back and forth across the calluses in a light scrubbing motion to remove some of the thickened skin, suggests the Cleveland Clinic. Never scrub so hard that it causes pain or bleeding. Touch the calluses with your fingers to see if you notice a difference in smoothness, and stop when they're gone.
Rinse your feet and pat them dry once more. Slather the calluses in moisturizing cream that contains ingredients like shea butter, cocoa butter or vitamin E.
Pull a pair of socks on over the moisturizer and go to bed. This insulates the moisturizer so it can continue to penetrate your skin over night. Remove the socks in the morning and you should reveal drastically smoother skin.
Leave certain calluses intact, especially in areas that constantly rub on something, like a shoe. They help protect you from blisters and irritation. Never use a razor blade to get rid of a callus; you could leave yourself susceptible to infection.