Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Will my callouses go away?"
I developed some callouses from my summer job on my hands, but now I want them to go away. Do they go away on their own or can I do something that will help the callouses go away.
Callouses are a thickening of the top layers of skin that form in response to mechanical stress, pressure, or friction. This can include the repetitive physical activity that was part of your summer job, riding a bike, or even weight-lifting. In general, callouses will go away when the physical stress that led to their development stops. In your case, if you are no longer participating in your summer job then your calluses will fade relatively quickly. Once a callus is present the best way to help it fade is to stop the offending activity and wear protective pads or gloves when participating in the activity. In part, this is why you will often see serious cyclists, weight-lifters, equestriennes and others wearing gloves. Keeping the skin on your hands adequately moisturized will also help the callouses be less prominent when compared with the rest of your skin. Finally, there are some topical creams that can help dissolve and smooth the thickened layers of skin. Podiatrists can often help 'sand down' calluses and corns found on the feet, although this can be more difficult with the more sensitive skin of the hands. In addition to adequately protecting your hands, the best way to investigate your options for topical treatment of calluses on the hands is to see your primary care physician. He or she can assess your skin and refer you to the appropriate specialist to discuss further options.
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