Going through a rough patch – Here’s how to turn feet with dry skin and callused areas back into soft and healthy – and ready to be shown off.

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About - All you need to know about dry skin and callous

... Dry skin

The skin holds a certain amount of moisture which is needed to keep the skin supple and able to withstand the different types of pressure and external influences that it is placed under.
Not unusual: dry skin on feet
The hydration of the skin can decrease, causing the skin on your feet to become dry, and, in combination with pressure or friction, to build up callous areas. Causes vary: Some people just have a skin that is drier than others. Reason might also be a genetic predisposition to develop dry skin, or diabetes, in which dry skin occurs as a side effect. Skin tends to become drier with age as well. Long, hot baths and showers can also make your skin drier.

... Callous

A callus (Latin, medical noun) is an extended area of thickened skin mainly on the soles and heels of the feet. Callous skin (the corresponding English adjective) forms wherever the skin is exposed to pressure and friction over a longer period of time. The outer layer of the skin, the epidermis, reacts by building up and forming callous skin in layers. (medical term: hyperkeratosis).
Foot with a typical callus patch
Hyperkeratosis: increased thickness of horny layer

It is mainly seen on the sole of the foot (palms of the hand and fingers can also be affected) and appears as a yellowish thickening. In most cases, it is painless. Once exposed  to excessive and constant pressure, it can also get worse and crack (see also: Instant help for cracked heels). Little to moderate callus formation is nothing but a cosmetic or aesthetic problem; especially when wearing open shoes. Yet thickening of the affected areas can lead to painful and incommoding callus formation.

„It‘s a thin line between an aesthetic issue and an incommodity“

Medical background: The stratum corneum (cornea = horny skin/Lat.) is the uppermost layer of the epidermis. Between the cornified cells (corneocytes) lie the epidermal lipids. The horny layer - especially the bottom third - forms the permeability barrier, which is the skin‘s true barrier against exogenous factors and endogenous water loss.

Treatment - Easy-to-follow tips and advice

Soften your feet

Taking the necessary steps to soften your dry calloused feet is easy – especially if you start with a cure! After that, maintenance is the key.

The thickening of the skin is part of the skin‘s normal protection against rubbing, pressure and other forms of local irritation, but it can also cause callus and corns on hands and feet. It is a thin line between a cosmetic or aesthetic problem and an impediment that can occur as soon as dry skin on heels begins to crack etc. Constant and regular care as well as softening of the affected areas with products containing effective ingredients such as urea will help keep the callus in check and get rid of this condition over time.

Soak your dry feet in warm, soapy water (use a special foot soak or mild products) for about fifteen to twenty minutes. This helps to soften the calloused skin on your feet for easier removal.
Using either a special file designed for footcare or a pumice stone, scrub the rough spots of dry skin on feet. For a less aggressive yet effective approach, use Hansaplast ANTI CALLUS 2in1 Peeling, which will not only exfoliate your feet, but also care for them with its caring phase. Focus on areas under the feet as well as the edges of feet and heels that are most affected by callus and where skin is driest.
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When you are happy with the results, rinse and dry your feet thoroughly.
Then, generously apply a layer of foot cream or lotion. Hansaplast offers products that will not only provide moisture and care, such as Hansaplast Soft Feeling for normal skin and Hansaplast Regenerating Foot Cream for normal to dry skin, but also help reduce dry and severely callused skin, such as Hansaplast ANTI CALLUS 20% UREA Intensive Cream, which contains effective urea. To add some extra care, cover your feet with cotton socks to seal off the moisture and let the cream soak in over night. This way, you can let the foot cream work for hours while you sleep. Repeat it over a few nights for maximum effect. Your feet should feel much softer and smoother as a result.
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To keep your feet feeling smooth, use a foot cream such as Hansaplast’s Regenerating Foot Cream on a daily basis. For intensive callus reduction, use Hansaplast ANTI CALLUS 20% UREA Intensive Cream. Its special formula with 20% UREA and its Aquaporin Technology will give you long-term results. Incorporate caring for your feet into your daily beauty routine. Tip: Put your jar or tube of foot cream next to your body lotion so you won’t forget!
Some preparational work might come in handy on greater patches of dry skin: Using a Hansaplast Callous Plaster will work to remove skin, once applied to the affected area. Hansaplast Callous Plaster helps to remove callous and rough skin by creating a moist atmosphere that softens the skin and restores its natural conditions. After treating the area of calloused skin with the plaster, the softened skin can easily be removed. Wear it under your socks or tights, where the plaster will release its skin-softening effect.

Expert Tip

Dr. Maike Kuhlmann, Research & Development, Beiersdorf AG
„Foot creams with special moisturising ingredients such as urea will help to regenerate dry rough skin. Hansaplast ANTI CALLUS 20% UREA Intensive Cream contains this natural and highly effective moisturiser in a high concentration of 20 %, which provides long-lasting and intense moisturisation, thus helping  to reduce dry and calloused areas."

„Intense care by
effective ingredients
will regenerate
dry, rough skin.“


You might want to try these products:

Smart products that will help you get rid of rough patches and soften
your feet. Remove, protect and moisturise!


Smart ways to prevent dry skin and callous areas

Regular removal of callous skin and using special moisturising foot creams such as Hansaplast Soft Feeling will help to keep your feet in a good condition.

In order to prevent callous patches from making walking uncomfortable, use the Callous Plaster, which is a specific product and will protect the affected areas against painful pressure.

Foot creams with special moisturising ingredients such as urea (e.g. Hansaplast Regenerating Foot Cream), will help the skin store valuable moisture and  to regenerate areas of dry and rough skin. Tip: Use as a foot mask before you go to bed: Apply a generous amount of cream, cover with a sock and let the cream sink in overnight.
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For intensive callus reduction, use Hansaplast ANTI CALLUS 20% UREA Intensive Cream. Its special formula with 20% Urea and the Aquaporin Technology will provide long-term results.

For further information regarding Hansaplast products, please contact us via email on Please note that none of the above given tips or recommendations substitute medical advice. Carefully read the instructions for use given in our products‘ packages. Consult a health professional if our tips won‘t help or in case you have or suspect a medical condition.

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