How to Remove a Callous or Corn While Traveling…


Today we shall discuss the gruesome topic of removing your own callouses or corns from your feet while traveling. Gross, yes? You’d say “who the heck gets a corn or a callous?” Well, lots of people do including yours truly. We’ve discussed removing your own ingrown toenail in China before so why not talk about removing your own corns or callouses in the jungles of the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica!?

Long story short, if you have crazy pressure in one part of your foot, dead skin starts to accumulate around it as a form of protection. This is not a problem for most of you at home; you simply don’t walk around enough to have this happen, even if your shoes don’t fit. If you’re a long term traveler who has no car and constantly walks everywhere, all the time, it’s a real possibility.

So mine got out of control, I knew it was there and I ignored it. Now I’m running daily and it was starting to kill. As a result we went to the pharmacy to “load up”. You’re going to want to get one of those callous / corn removing tools. It looks like a grizzly little tool and you use that to rip the dead skin off, lovely. You’re also going to need a pumice stone which is also costs next to nothing. If they have Epson salt, buy that too but the pharmacists here scratched their heads when we asked.


  • soak your foot for 20 minutes in hot water
  • clean and dry the area
  • take out that callous remove and start shaving
  • don’t vomit on your chest
  • use the pumice stone to sand it out afterwards
  • clean the area and routinely pumice stone it after

That’s basically it. Truth be told, the whole thing didn’t hurt at all and immediately afterwards walking around became noticeably better. Maybe I need orthotics or better shoes? I’m not sure but now own the Nike Free Run 5.0’s which should be more than cool. This brings up some questions though…

I used to play golf every day and as a result I owned two pairs of golf shoes. The reason being is that it is a long walk to play a round of 18 holes. What happens is you compress the shoes and if you wear them again the next day, you don’t get the same support. To stop that, you alternate shoes. Many people who work security do a similar thing as they are constantly on their feet. Carrying two pairs of shoes makes sense but is highly impractical for the traveler living out of a bag.

At the end of the day you don’t want to be dealing with callouses on your feet, it sucks and it hurts. Let’s not even go into the realm of unsightly from the whole superficial stand point. Just watch your feet and if you start feeling pain, fix it. If you start getting a callous, pumice it off the planet. Once walking becomes difficult or less than a pleasure the whole travel game starts to look different and it’s not a nice change.

It’s a small world, we all know that but if you can’t walk properly this world is HUGE!

In closing, am I some kind of freak or has this happened to anyone else?

Tips hat,


  1. OpenConcept

    November 12, 2012 at 8:39 am

    Love the lesson in foot care good sir. Sounds rough but glad to hear its on the mend. Im assuming you will not be doing and foot modeling or fetish videos then hahaha. Enjoy your time bud. My sis just started her adventure this week as well. Starting in Bangkok.
    Tips hat

    • Rob

      November 12, 2012 at 4:26 pm

      My foot modeling career is over and your sister is going to love it. Ahh to be going to Bangkok for the first time again at the start of a trip… Priceless.

  2. Marita A

    November 12, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    As a matter of fact, no…this has never happened to me before. Not that specific but yes, I know how it hurts to be a traveller sometimes 🙂 Thanks for sharing the tip, you made it come across as funny.

    • Rob

      November 12, 2012 at 4:27 pm

      I’m glad you found some humor in my plight. ;]


    November 12, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    On a related but different subject…. something I’ve picked up here on Little Corn Island, Nicaragua when walking around barefoot is how to remove slivers of glass from your feet (usually the result of someone’s drunken antics the night before involving a beer bottle)….. buy a disposable razor…. break it apart until you have just one of the blades…. bend it into a ‘U’ shape… and use it to literally excavate the skin around the glass…. it comes out clean without pushing the offending shard any further into your foot (admittedly with some of your skin sacrificed for the cause)… which can happen when using a needle or similar…. it works brilliantly, despite sounding quite severe….. and doesn’t hurt at all… instant relief….. no need to thank me 😉

    • Rob

      November 12, 2012 at 4:29 pm

      That sounds pretty savage but effective. Next time it occurs you will have to document the procedure and share it with us.

      I’ve done the whole no shoes and rarely a good idea, at night it’s questionable at best.

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