I used to have the best calluses. They were smooth and even pliable, with no dead skin coming off. I was playing a lot of guitar back then. When I started playing again, my general technique had changed a little: more bends, bend vibratos, slurs, slides, and trills. One reason for this emphasis on the left hand, was that tendonitis in my right hand was severe enough in the old days to make me hang up my axe. Even now, if I over-do it on my right hand, I will feel that particular kind of pain start to return. If I am doing a lot of left hand stuff, as mentioned above, my finger tips get sore beneath the surface. The surface appears fine. I have tried any and every type of treatment on my calluses, which all help a little. Super Glue, liquid bandages, and the like are good for spur of the moment problems. On a more long-term basis, I have tried salt water, witch hazel, and rubbing alcohol. The alcohol has been the most effective. Snooping around Amazon the other day, I found a product for dogs called Tuf-Foot. This toughens up the pads on their feet for dogs who are very active and are used in hunting. I bought a bottle, and saw in a small brochure that came with it that it was OK for human use. Nowhere was there any mention that humans should not use it. Some Amazon reviewers use it for long hikes and similar activities. I put mine on before bed. It is not the best smell, but not too bad. The biggest problem with the smell is that it is so close to the face. In the morning, the calluses were quite noticeably tougher, yet still smooth. I put some on again last night, and, again, the calluses are tougher than the first time I applied it. The skin feels completely natural and are as sensitive to the nuances of touch as they have ever been. I'll keep experimenting with this, and will see if it is something that I can only occasionally, or if there are specific times when I should apply it. Some of my posts here are about my playing and the great advice that I get, while at other times, I just want to pass along something that is working for me, in case there are others in the boat. I won't include a link, but it should be easy to find on Amazon.