What Natural Oils Are Good to Soften Calluses?

Foot of woman in bathtub

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The thick layers of skin called calluses form as your body’s natural protection from friction and daily pressure. They often occur on hands or feet as a result of repetitive friction (e.g., gripping weights at the gym) or from wearing ill-fitting shoes that rub on the same part of the foot over and over. There are creams you can purchase at the drugstore to treat them, or you can do a simple at-home remedy using natural oils.

Calluses and your Health

Calluses aren’t pretty, but they’re also not dangerous -- unless you have diabetes which can cause issues with circulation in your feet. They usually aren’t painful, unless they’re rubbing up against a bone or a nerve on your foot. If not treated, calluses can become corns, which have a hard center core. Regardless of whether you have health concerns or your concerns are more esthetic, you’ll likely want to find a way to remove calluses on your feet.

The Filing Method

One way to remove calluses and reduce the pressure they’re putting on the nerves is to scrub the dead skin cells away using a pumice stone right after you step out of the shower or bath. Don't remove all of the callus at once: this could leave skin raw and susceptible to infection. Instead, scrub a little bit of the dead skin away each day. A very thick callus could take two weeks to wear away.

The Oil Treatment Method for Calluses

Another way of treating calluses is by applying a DIY treatment made of lotion and natural essential oils which will help to moisturize calluses, causing them to become soft. One effective recipe can be made using a thick store-bought foot lotion, ten drops of peppermint oil and ten drops Roman chamomile oil. While peppermint oil helps reduce redness and inflammation, Roman chamomile oil reduces tension, pain and discomfort.

The Oil Treatment Method for Corns

If a callus has turned into a corn, the editors at Best Health magazine recommend treating it by soaking and moisturizing it with castor oil until it becomes soft. Use a cotton swab to dab a couple of drops on the corn and cover it with an adhesive pad, which can be purchased at the pharmacy. If the corn is on your toe, cover it with a non-medicated round pad with a hole in the middle, using adhesive tape to hold the pad in place. Wear old socks when you’re doing this since castor oil can stain.