Dry calluses on the hands

, medical expert
Last reviewed: 07.06.2024

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While a normal blister callus is formed due to friction, hard dry calluses on the hands - on the hands and fingers - have a slightly different origin and are treated differently.

Causes of the dry calluses on the hands

The main reason for the appearance of dry calluses on the hands is prolonged and/or constant mechanical pressure with localization on a certain area of the skin. Since the function of the skin is protective, the formation of hard calluses is considered one of its manifestations.

At the same time, specific areas are noted where pressure is increased in a number of activities with the use of tools and equipment. Thus, the callus of the rower from the oar is formed on the metacarpal-phalangeal surfaces of the palms; between the metacarpal bones and proximal phalanges of the fingers - a common place of dense omozoleliosti in weightlifters and kettlebell lifters; jewelers, engravers and people who constantly manipulate small tools, suffer thumb, index and middle fingers of the working hand. Hairdressers with the handle of scissors, and gardeners with the handle of pruning shears press themselves a callus on the index finger. Even someone who writes a lot by hand can "earn" such a callus on one of the phalanges of the middle finger.

Risk factors

In addition to the activities mentioned above, risk factors for dry calluses on the hands include vitamin A deficiency, leading to hyperkeratosis, and dry skin on the hands, including that common to the elderly.

People with systemic and metabolic diseases: diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, gout are more prone to keratotic skin lesions.

There is an increased likelihood of such calluses in case of pathological changes in the metacarpal bones; interphalangeal joints of the hands; styloid process of the ulnae (processus styloideus ulnae); appearance of a bony protrusion of the pea-shaped bone of the wrist (os pisiforme) on the palm side - due to trauma, salt deposits, polyarthritis, arthrosis or deforming osteoarthritis, when osteophytes are formed.


Explaining the pathogenesis of dry callus formation, experts attribute it to the response of skin keratinocytes to repeated traumatic exposure - in the form of increased keratinization of the epithelium to protect against damage to deeper layers of the dermis.

Limited in area, but intensive and frequently repeated pressure on the skin of hands and fingers leads to activation of migrating epidermal macrophages (Langerhans cells), regulating the division of keratinocytes of the basal layer and their differentiation up to the final stage - transformation into dead cells (corneocytes), which form the stratum corneum of the skin.

It is also noted the direct relation to complex tissue-specific biochemical processes of growth factors - epithelial (EGF) and transforming (TGFα), stimulating the corresponding receptors of keratinocytes; adhesion molecules on their membranes; some intra-tissue enzymes.

As a result - due to increased proliferation of the main epidermal cells to the level of hyperkeratosis and thickening of the corneocytes - there is a local thickening of the stratum corneum, which, in fact, is a dry callus.

If there is a dry callus with a rod on the hand, it means the formation of a hard keratinous cone or root in the center of the zone of increased keratinization of the epidermis, which under the action of mechanical pressure is buried in the underlying layers of the skin.

Symptoms of the dry calluses on the hands

When the first signs of dry callus formation appear on the hand, on the area of the palm or fingers that is subjected to constant pressure, the skin becomes denser and coarser.

Subsequently, symptoms such as hardening and thickening of the skin area appear, which has the appearance of a dry hyperkeratolytic plaque of grayish or yellowish color, less sensitive to touch than the surrounding skin. Or there may be a slightly protruding on the surface of the skin rather soft yellow ring (due to an increase in collagen fibers in the stratum corneum) with a hard waxy grayish-yellow center consisting of cemented keratin: this is a rod-shaped dry callus on the hand. It is accompanied by swelling and can be painful, because the hard rod displaces the skin tissue and begins to press on the nerve endings. And simultaneous squeezing and damage to capillaries can cause spot hemorrhage.

Complications and consequences

If left untreated, the consequences and complications of long-lasting dry calluses on the hands are almost inevitable:

  • constant pain;
  • cracking and ulceration of the upper layers of the skin and damage to deeper tissues in the form of fibrosis;
  • ingrowth of nerve endings and blood vessels into the body of the callus;
  • Infection and inflammation (often purulent).

Diagnostics of the dry calluses on the hands

Diagnosis of callus is made on the basis of history, examination and clinical presentation.

Instrumental diagnosis using dermatoscopy can help to clarify the size of the callus - the area of hyperkeratosis. And if the patient has pathologic changes in the bony structures of the hand or fingers, radiography is performed.

Differential diagnosis

Differential diagnosis should exclude: focal palm and plantar keratoderma, papular keratoderma of Buschke-Fischer, epidermolytic hyperkeratosis of the fingers, verruciform acrokeratosis and other keratoderma, as well as keratosis of the palms of the hands in red pustule and hyperkeratotic form of mycosis of the hands.

Treatment of the dry calluses on the hands

For people who have faced this problem, the main question is: how to get rid of dry calluses on the hands. Detailed information regarding calluses with a rod in the material - Rod callus: causes of appearance, structure, treatment

The main drugs that help to remove such blisters - external agents with keratolytic effect, which is provided by their composition of salicylic acid, urea (urea) or ammonium lactate (salt of lactic acid): salicylic ointment, Solkokerasal, Hemosol, Keratolan, Carboderm, etc., blister fluid Collomac.

Read more:

But before applying ointment or cream on the callus, it must be made softer with a hot bath lasting a quarter of an hour - in a soap solution with the addition of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and ammonia (no more than 10-12 drops per half liter of solution), with dissolved in water table salt and baking soda (a teaspoon per 0.5 liters) or with the addition of apple cider vinegar (half a cup per 500 ml). Softened callus rubbed with a pumice stone, then rinse the hand, wipe dry and use ointment. It is recommended to carry out such procedures every other day.

This procedure also precedes the use of dry callus patches.

And therapeutic hand creams help moisturize and soften the skin.

Additionally, dermatologists advise taking vitamins A, C and D.

From the above method, folk treatment differs in that after a warm bath on the callus applied not pharmacy means, but, for example, raw onions, aloe leaf pulp, grated garlic, pine oleoresin.

And herbal treatment is carried out by the same hot baths with decoctions of such medicinal plants as licorice (use the root), chamomile (flowers), sage. And on the steamed callus put a compress with the juice of fresh celandine leaves. If there is an extreme need, surgical treatment is carried out - laser removal or cryodestruction with liquid nitrogen, although the frequency of recurrences after such treatment is quite high. In cases of dry calluses with a deep core, surgical excision is used.


For most people, preventing dry calluses on their hands involves using protective gloves.

It is also necessary proper care on the skin of the hands - with the use of exfoliants to clean the skin from dead cells and prevent its thickening and natural vegetable oils (olive, linseed) to nourish the skin.


Medical professionals do not consider dry calluses on the hands to be a serious health problem; in most cases, you can get rid of them. Therefore, the prognosis is excellent. But if the cause of their appearance remains, the problem is chronic.

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