A Soccerista’s Worst Enemy: Calluses

Calluses are a Soccerista’s true enemy. Unfortunately, as any player that goes hard knows, they’re also just part of the girls soccer lifestyle. All that friction from your cleats can leave your puppies sore and callused.

Calluses are thickened areas of skin that crop up when there is a significant amount of pressure on one part of your body. Think of them as armor for those parts of your skin that get pummeled over and over again.

Unfortunately there is also the temptation to use any means necessary to get rid of these guys quickly, often with a nail file, a nail clipper… your brother’s pocket army knife (extreme, but we’re pretty sure there is at least one person out there nodding knowingly). But, scraping these calluses off can often lead to open sores, pain, and infection.

Here are dermatology approved tricks of the trade to get rid of calluses:

Soak your calluses for at least 10 minutes.

If you’re planning minor surgery in your bedroom, plan ahead. Soak your callus is warm water for 10-15 minutes. (Literally a quarter of a Game of Thrones episode. You got this.)

Invest in a pumice stone. 

Dip the pumice stone in warm water, then gently (GENTLY) file the callus. Use circular and sideways motions to loosen those skin cells without rubbing the area raw.

Lotion up.

Apply moisturizing lotion or cream to the hardened area daily even when the callus has just been pumice stoned away. Keeping your feet moisturized helps preventing those dry hard layers from forming. Ingredients like salicylic acid, ammonium lactate, or urea in most foot lotions can soften hard callused areas.

Use inserts or padded soles in your shoes.

Create a cushion for your feet by lining your shoes with inserts or pads. These can be obtained from your local pharmacy.

Get new cleats every season.

Your feet can grow into young adulthood and playing in old too-small cleats just because they’re ‘lucky’ can cause foot problems. Break in a new pair of cleats every season, especially if you’re still growing. When you hit the store, use that random foot measuring device that’s on the floor in all shoe stores to check your real size. You may be surprised.

Don’t let toenails grow.

Toenails can quickly turn into jagged daggers if you’ve gone without a pedicure for too long. Trim your toenails before the inside of your cleats looks like a crime scene from Law and Order. Cuts and punctures from toenails can lead to skin in the area of the injury to grow thicker. Long toenails also force the toes to push up against your shoe, causing callus or corn to form.


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