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Conquering calluses

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Foot calluses can form on even the softest soles. Keeping on top of those hardened spots is important if you want to avoid problems down the road, such as heel fissures&deep cracks that can bleed and become infected

Foot calluses can form on even the softest soles. Keeping on top of those hardened spots is important if you want to avoid problems down the road, such as heel fissures&deep cracks that can bleed and become infected.

Calluses are the formed by the body as a natural defence against friction or pressure on areas of the foot, usually caused by wearing high heels or shoes that are too tight. But sometimes the cause can't be helped, especially if you have flat feet, high arches, or abnormalities in the bones of the foot.

So what's the safest, most natural way to thin out hardened calluses? Start with a soak in a footbath of warm water, Epsom salts, and a drop or two of essential oils such as peppermint or lavender. Unless you're a professional, stay away from sharp blades to scrape off hardened skin. Scraping too hard all in one go can cause abrasions and make feet sensitive. A pumice stone or chiropody sponge made of soft volcanic rock on wet or dry feet is the best way to gradually erase thickened skin. The key is to work on the calluses a day at a time.

Next, massage your feet with pure Shea butter, a natural vitamin A cream that moisturizes and heals, and put on a pair of cotton socks to keep moisture in. Look for cold-pressed Shea butter with no chemicals, preservatives, or perfumes and use before the expiry date.

See your doctor if your calluses are especially thick and painful or have started to crack and bleed. Creams containing acid for callus removal should only be used under doctor's supervision.

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