Callus lotions are topical ointments designed to break down hard, dry layers of skin. To choose the best callus lotion, select one that contains acids strong enough to penetrate and soften your calluses. Since these acids can be fairly harsh, it is also important to choose a cream that will not leave the area tender or irritated. To protect against irritation, look for a lotion that contains foot moisturizers, nourishing extracts or hydrocortisone to hydrate the skin and reduce pain. If your calluses do not improve after using an over-the-counter callus lotion, visit your physician to determine whether you need a prescription-strength formula or additional treatment.
To choose an effective callus lotion, look for products that contain acids that will break down and remove your calluses. The acid most commonly used for this purpose is salicylic acid. Callus creams containing salicylic acid usually come in strengths between two and 10 percent. While stronger lotions will be more effective, they also have more potential to be irritating.
Lactic acid, urea, alpha hydroxy acids, and vitamin E are also used in many foot lotions. If you are sensitive to salicylic acid, these ingredients might be less irritating. Some creams also contain a combination of these substances in order to increase the potency of the product.
In addition to softening ingredients, a callus lotion should also contain moisturizing agents and other ingredients to nourish the skin. The best callus lotions work two different ways. They break down hard callused skin, while drawing moisture into the tissue. This makes the skin more pliable and easy to remove. Nourished skin will also be less likely to become irritated when exposed to the harsher ingredients in the cream.
When choosing a callus lotion, look for one that contains natural moisturizers like shea butter, aloe and glycerin. Also look for formulas that include plant extracts, oils and vitamins that will hydrate and improve the health of your skin. If your skin becomes irritated after using a callus cream, apply a hydrocortisone cream to reduce any redness, irritation or soreness. These creams are available both over the counter and by prescription.
If your calluses fail to improve after using callus lotion, you might want to consult your physician. Strong salicylic acid creams and other ointments are available by prescription. While over-the-counter creams are usually enough to improve calluses, severe cases might require a prescription medication. If your calluses are causing pain, your physician might also decide to remove them manually or use a combination of treatments.