Defending against trail grit and grass seeds by using AR Gaiters is good practice. Preparing your feet pre-event and keeping them in good condition is another must-do. This includes removing calluses, which is essential to good foot care (like trimming your toenails).
Calluses are thick, hardened layers of skin that develop when the skin tries to protect itself against friction or pressure. These are commonly on the hands, fingers, feet and toes.
Foot-care guru John Vonhof, author of ‘Fixing Your Feet‘, says that calluses indicate repeated pressure over time and are generally caused by poor fitting footwear.
"But the most important thing to know is that if or when you get a blister under a callus, it will be painful. No matter how small or how little fluid is inside the covered and hidden blister. You know it’s there. I know it’s there. But finding the exact location and depth of the blister in order to drain the fluid is very, very, very difficult. It can be painful too because it take a series of punctures with a needle to try and find the blister sac."
Callus removers vary with manual and electric options. What they have in common is a coarse surface that you move back-and-forth across the area of built-up dried skin to remove it. From coarse pumice stones to files, rasps, graters, 'sand paper' and slicing blades, there are many options available.
Manual callus removers give you the most control over how much skin is removed because you can check after each swipe. But, they can also be quite aggressive unless you take care not to remove too much skin, which can lead to sensitivity and soreness.
Electric callus removers have a cylinder of sandpaper that spins really quickly to buff any surface it is applied to. They are easy to use and more gentle than manual methods. It is slower than manual and it produces more skin dust.
Results from callus removal creams vary. They won't disappear calluses, just soften them. Reapplication is probably needed as is manual intervention to remove the built-up hard skin.
Importantly, where callus removers reduce and eliminate current calluses and regularly moisturising your skin will delay reformation, it is only by removing the cause of the callus formation that will prevent them returning.