A callus is a toughened area of the skin that has become thick and hardened in response to repeated irritation, friction or pressure.  Calluses themselves are usually not harmful but can lead to other problems such as skin ulceration or infection.  There are many activities that can result in the formation of a callus and sometimes is even seen as a badge of honor.  Some of these activities include dancing especially ballet), many sports, and even wearing high heels.

Signs and Symptoms

A tough, hardened area of any part of the foot where there is repeated friction or pressure.  It often is on the toes (especially either side of the toes), heels or ball of the foot.  They can be painful from a dull soreness to a sharp, shooting pain if there are any nerves or bursal sacs below the callus.


Calluses are easier to prevent than to treat.  Minimizing any pressure or rubbing will help prevent calluses.  Shoes should fit properly and avoid wearing high heels.  If calluses are already present pads, rings or bandages can be applied to the areas to provide some protection.  Some calluses may go away over time if friction is avoided.  They can also be dissolved with keratolytic agents that contain salicylic acid and sanded down with a pumice stone or buffing pad at home.  If they are particularly tough or numerous your podiatrist can pare down, or debride, the calluses for you.  If you are diabetic, DO NOT attempt to treat your own calluses.  Any cuts or abrasion to the skin can lead to numerous complications, especially infection.  Please call us today to schedule an appointment.

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