Writer's callus: why does it appear and how to treat it?

Writer's callus is also known as "writer's lump" or "writer's bump. nerd». It is a hardness that appears in one of the fingers of the hand due to the constant friction that occurs from the use of pencils, pens or other elements for writing. Is it possible to remove it?

Although not a health problem, this callus is unsightly and causes irritation. For these reasons there are those who seek a treatment to reduce its size, or to eliminate it. Fortunately, there are several options to remove it. In this space we detail them.

Why does the writer's callus appear?

As an article published in American Family Physician, corns are the consequence of a physiological response of the skin known as "hyperkeratosis". It occurs due to continuous pressure or friction of the skin with a certain material.

Writer's callus, in particular, appears from the constant use of writing instruments, such as pens, pencils, markers, and crayons, among others. When pressing against one of the fingers of the hand – which can be the middle or the ring finger – these elements form a lumpy-looking hardness that is made up of dead cells.

Its main function is to protect the underlying area of ​​the skin, as otherwise it can become irritated or get infections. While it is harmless, it is uncomfortable and makes the finger look unsightly. Therefore, solutions are often sought to minimize them.

The mechanism behind the appearance of callus is constant friction from writing a lot.

Read also: Benefits of azelaic acid for the skin

Recommended treatments for writer's callus

There is no surgical treatment to completely remove calluses. However, as detailed by the American Academy of Dermatology, most tend to disappear when the friction that causes them is stopped. In addition, there are some therapeutic options that accelerate its breakdown.

In the case of the writer's callus, there are some approaches that are usually effective. Still, they don't give instant results and you need to be patient to avoid causing further injury. Take aim!


The first recommendation to reduce the appearance of the writer's callus is soaking and exfoliation. According to information from the Mayo Clinic, this simple process softens the skin and removes accumulated dead cells.

  • To carry it out, first you should immerse the affected finger in warm water for 10 minutes.
  • Then, with a pumice stone or nail file, gently rub the callus. The idea is to remove the dead cells.
  • The treatment you must repeat it every day, until you notice an improvement.

Note: do not try to cut the callus with anything, as this can lead to an infection.


The American Academy of Dermatology recommends application of moisturizing products with salicylic acid, ammonium lactate or urea. These ingredients help soften the writer's callus and, little by little, break down the dead cells.

Other useful homemade products to hydrate are the following:

  • Aloe vera gel.
  • Coconut oil.
  • Shea butter.
  • Castor oil.
  • Vitamin E.
  • Olive oil.

Aspirin remedy

Ideally, use products with salicylic acid prescribed by the dermatologist. However, optionally or additionally you can try a simple home remedy with aspirin.

According to a review in Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, salicylic acid acts as a keratolytic agent and favors the relief of dermatological problems.

  • To make this remedy crush 3 to 5 aspirin tablets into a powder.
  • Then moisten it with a little water until it forms a paste.
  • Apply the preparation on the corn, rub carefully and wrap it for about 10-15 minutes with a plastic strip.
  • After this time, remove the paste and rinse.
  • Repeat the remedy every day, until the callus is reduced.

Writer's callus prevention

Writing regularly makes prevention of writer's callus difficult. Regardless, there are some simple measures that can prevent this bump from appearing. Here are the most relevant ones:

  • Wear finger guards when writing: thick bandages or cotton gloves can help protect your finger from rubbing against writing tools.
  • Get pencil grips: Another way to put a barrier between your pencils and your finger is with a rubber or foam grip. The same is put on the pencil or pen. In fact, there are some that already have it incorporated.
  • Choose pens with gel ink: this variety requires less pressure when applied to paper. Therefore, the tension against the finger decreases.
  • Relax your grip: of course, try not to apply too much force when writing. Avoid pressing the pencil too hard against the paper. Also, take breaks and wave your hand to relax it.

Aspirin can be ground into a powder that will quell writer's callus. However, it is preferable for a doctor to prescribe topical salicylic acid.

Do not leave without visiting: Peeling chemical: what are the acids used?

Is it necessary to consult a dermatologist?

For being a harmless injury, Writer's callus usually resolves over time without the need to go to a dermatologist. Even so, it is advisable to consult in case the mentioned treatments do not give results. The professional can indicate other therapeutic options if necessary.

It is also important to request specialist intervention if there are signs of an infection. This includes symptoms such as redness, pus, pain, swelling, or bleeding. Keep that in mind!