Calluses on Your Feet: Causes and Solutions

Thick, hardened layers of skin often form when your feet are constantly subject to pressure or friction. These calluses often form on the heel, toes, or plantar (bottom of the foot).

We know calluses, and smaller related bumps called corns, are unsightly and sometimes uncomfortable. At Hoosier Foot & Ankle, we help you develop habits to prevent calluses from appearing in the first place and, if you should already have them, relieving any discomfort and ugliness.

Identifying a callus

A callus isn’t usually painful; they actually develop on your feet to prevent pain. They’re typically large, thickened patches of skin that have developed in response to constant rubbing or pressure.

You may have smaller calluses, known as corns, which are small bumps of thickened skin surrounded by inflamed tissue. Corns usually show up on your toes or on the tops of your feet and can be painful when you press on them.

Most likely candidates

Calluses sometimes develop naturally as you get older. Your feet just experience wear-and-tear and the continued pressure of walking, running, or standing can lead to the development of calluses.

You may accelerate the development of calluses if you often wear shoes that fit poorly. For example, high heels and tight shoes cause compression that can lead to calluses. Loose shoes can likewise lead to friction that makes calluses form. Shoes with unusual seems can also rub against the skin to cause a callus.

When you consistently wear shoes without socks, you’re also more prone to the development of calluses. Ill-fitting socks can also cause rubbing and the resulting calluses. If you often shun shoes and walk barefoot, your feet will develop calluses to protect themselves against the elements.

Certain people are at a greater risk of developing calluses, too. If you have bunions, hammertoe, or other foot deformities – such as a bone spur – you’re at greater risk of developing calluses. All of these foot issues benefit from a visit to Hoosier Foot & Ankle to prevent calluses and other dysfunction.

Preventing calluses

Good foot care, which includes wearing appropriate supportive shoes and socks, helps prevent the development of calluses. Caring for any foot problems that predispose you to calluses also helps prevent their development. The more you can reduce or eliminate a source of friction, the better chance you have of preserving smooth feet.

Getting rid of calluses

The doctors at Hoosier Foot & Ankle may trim some of the thickened skin of a callus if you’re bothered by it, and they can remove corns with a scalpel. You, however, should never cut a corn or callus yourself as you can cause infection or greater pain.

People with diabetes or others with poor circulation are at risk of complications caused by calluses or corns. In these cases, it’s essential to have regular foot checks at one of the locations of Hoosier Foot & Ankle to make sure you’re healthy and free of potential cuts, blisters, or other damage that could have trouble healing.

Calluses are generally harmless and develop naturally. But, if you’re bothered by their appearance and desire smooth feet, contact one of the locations of Hoosier Foot & Ankle to have them examined and trimmed. We can also address painful corns at our offices. Call one of our locations, or schedule online today. 

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