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How to Prevent Blisters, Calluses, and Corns

The best way to deal with blisters, calluses, and corns is to avoid getting them altogether. So how do you do that?

To avoid getting blisters and calluses on your hands, wear the right kind of gloves or protective gear. For instance, you might use work gloves during yard work or palm protectors called "grips" for gymnastics.

To keep your feet callus free, choose your shoes wisely. Try to shop for shoes in the afternoon because that's when your feet are their largest. They get a little swollen from you walking on them all day! Try on both shoes and walk around a little bit before buying them. Even if shoes look really cool, don't get them if they don't feel right. Often, a different size or width can make a big difference.

Even if you love a pair of shoes, it’s best not to wear them all the time. Mix it up by wearing a variety of shoes. That way, your feet will get a break and won't always be rubbed in the same places.

Caring for Blisters, Calluses, and Corns

If you do get a blister, callus, or corn, you can usually take care of it at home:

Blisters usually heal on their own. Keep a blister clean and dry and cover it with a bandage until it goes away. While it heals, try to avoid putting pressure on the area or rubbing it.

You can help a callus go away faster by soaking it in warm, soapy water for 10 minutes, then rubbing it with a pumice stone. The stone has a rough surface and can be used to rub off dead skin. Go easy when you do this. Rubbing too much can make the skin raw and tender. You can also wear shoe pads inside your shoes to relieve pressure so foot calluses can heal. You can buy pumice stones and foot pads in many grocery stores and drugstores.

Corns take a little bit longer to go away. To help, you can buy special doughnut-shaped pads that let the corn fit right into the hole in the middle to relieve pain and pressure. Ask a nurse, doctor, or a parent about trying pads that contain salicylic acid. This acid takes off the dead skin to help get rid of the corn, but people with some health conditions (like diabetes) will want to avoid using these. If a corn sticks around for a while and keeps hurting, you may need to see a podiatrist (the fancy name for a foot doctor).

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