What is a Callus Razor?

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

A callus razor is a pedicure tool that is used to slice away large amounts of dead skin from the bottoms of the feet. The tool has a handle and a metal head where the razor fits. The head of the razor has slot where disposable razors can bit fitted and removed. Most companies that sell this kind of razor also sell razor blades that fit into the head of the tool. Many of these razors are also designed to accommodate any kind of straight razor blade.

Removing calluses from the feet can make them feel smoother, may eliminate pain, and can also help reduce the chance that they will crack and become infected.
Removing calluses from the feet can make them feel smoother, may eliminate pain, and can also help reduce the chance that they will crack and become infected.

This tool, which is also sometimes referred to as a "callus shaver," must be used with extreme caution. This is because the sharp callus razor can easily cut through the dead skin and, if the user is not careful, also cut into live skin and cause the foot to bleed. Furthermore, it should only be used on people who have thick layers of calluses to remove. Thinner calluses should be treated with a pumice stone, foot scrub, or some other type of callus remover that will not take off so many layers of skin at a time.

It's best to use a foot soak before removing calluses.
It's best to use a foot soak before removing calluses.

A callus razor has a covering over the razor so that, when the head of the tool slides across a callus, it takes off a layer at a time. Even still, if the calluses are too thin, it can take off a layer of living skin along with the callus. For this reason, there are restrictions against the callus razor in many areas. In many places, this kind of tool may not be used in salons and spas because of the dangers of injuring the clients and also the biohazard of an open wound, especially if that wound were to bleed into a pedicure tub that is intended to be used by other clients.

Using lotion regularly can help prevent calluses.
Using lotion regularly can help prevent calluses.

Even though the callus razor is restricted from commercial use in many areas, some people use this tool during home pedicures. It can be especially useful for people who regularly get callus buildups on their feet. It is a good idea to always leave a thin layer of callus on the foot. If only tender, fresh skin is left on the foot, it is much more likely for a person to get blisters and other sort of irritations on the feet just during daily activities. This is another reason why a callus razor should only be used on feet that have very thick calluses.

Calluses may be caused by ill fitting shoes.
Calluses may be caused by ill fitting shoes.
A skin callus may be defined as a patch of hard, rough skin that may develop due to friction.
A skin callus may be defined as a patch of hard, rough skin that may develop due to friction.
Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

In addition to her work as a freelance writer for wiseGEEK, Diane is the executive editor of Black Lawrence Press, an independent publishing company based in upstate New York. She has also edited several anthologies, the e-newsletter Sapling, and The Adirondack Review. Diane has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from Brooklyn College.

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Discussion Comments


What about using a disposable razor if you can't find a callus razor?


If you are thinking about using a callus razor for the first time do you have any tips for avoiding cutting yourself too deeply?

I used to go to a shop and have a pedicure done every few weeks, so I never had to worry about doing this kind of stuff myself before. Nowadays though I am on a tighter budget and can't afford the little luxuries anymore.

A callus razor seems like a cheap purchase, and if I could do an entire pedicure myself it would be ideal. With my calluses building up I really want to tackle them right away but am a bit worried about using the callus razor myself.


I developed corns and calluses on my feet from wearing shoes that were too loose. They were my favorite shoes, because they were so cute. I wanted to find a way to get rid of the corns instead of the shoes.

I decided to use a callus razor. I was careful, but apparently, the calluses did not go as deep as I had originally thought. When I was a couple of slices into the dead skin, I hit live skin.

I must have hit a vein, because I bled excessively. It didn’t get infected, but I had to hobble around with a bandaid on the bottom of my foot for several days, which was very uncomfortable.


It seems that I walk around all day, even when I’m at home. I’m the type of restless soul who can’t sit still, and because of this, I do get calluses on my feet.

I found a good callus shaver with a soft handle. I can grip it securely, even when it is wet. That allows me to remove the dead skin layers safely.

The instructions that came with the razor said it’s best to use it on damp skin. What I do is soak in the tub while shaving my legs with a regular razor. After that, my feet are soft and primed for callus removal. I pat them dry before gliding the blade gently across the dead skin.


I remember the first time I went for a pedicure and how shocked I was when the started at my feet with the callus razor. Watching huge slices of skin pile up in a towel was rather disturbing, but my feet did feel soft, and look much better for it afterwards.

Calluses on your feet can really make it difficult to wear sandals as you tend to get embarrassed about the condition of your feet. I know I hate the look of dry feet with thick soles.

If you haven't had your calluses removed this way before I would suggest asking the esthetician giving you a pedicure if you need it or not. My friend is lucky and never gets any calluses, despite spending all day on her feet.


I was warned against callus razors because even if it doesn't cut through fresh skin, it can still cause infections. Especially if the razor has been used on other people before you.

I know that most salons that use callus razors pay a lot of attention to hygiene and using new and clean razors on every customer. But I think it's always best to take precaution. I agree that we should select salons that are known for their hygiene and quality. You don't want to go for a manicure and pedicure and end up with an infection that requires medical treatment.


@SZapper-- I've never seen this happen before. I have my calluses removed pretty regularly and the technician has never made any mistakes or hurt me in any way. As far as I know, they go to school and receive training to do these treatments. Not anyone can do it and that's why I've never been worried about having it done.

I naturally have very thick skin and it calluses develop very quickly. I wear comfortable shoes, do foot soaks and use a pumice stone regularly at home, but I still have calluses.

And foot calluses can be very painful if they are not removed, I remember a time where I couldn't even walk because of the pain. The only solution is to have it removed.

I'm very happy with my spa and my technician. If you go to a spa that you trust and that has certificates and training, you have nothing to worry about.


I remember the first few times I got a pedicure the technician used this tool on my feet. After that I started maintaining my feet better at home with pumice and foot scrubs, so I didn't see that tool again!

I'm kind of glad now that I know how potentially hazardous it can be. The last thing I need is to start gushing blood at the nail salon!

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