WebMD recommends removing calluses from the heels by soaking them in water or applying salicylic acid to soften the tissue and then rubbing away the callus using a pumice stone. Use of salicylic acid requires the person to use caution to ensure he applies the solution to the callus and does not allow it to spread to surrounding skin.
Calluses do not require removal unless they cause the individual pain. Proper fitting shoes help to reduce their formation. Doctors of patients who continue to develop calluses after removal sometimes refer the patient to a podiatrist. This foot doctor examines the foot and prescribes special shoe inserts. Wearing the inserts distributes the body weight evenly across the heel, according to WebMD. In rare instances, calluses that form due to bone deformities require surgery to correct the underlying condition.
The Mayo Clinic warns diabetics against the use of salicylic acid or trimming calluses from their feet at home. The complications of diabetes include nerve and circulatory damage that increase the risk of ulcers on the feet. These sores are difficult to treat and get worse quickly. Without prompt care, they can cause infections that require amputations. If calluses develop, the diabetic should talk with his doctor about options.