What is a callus?
A callus is a hard area of skin that can be yellow in colour. They are typically found on the feet, the knuckles and palms of the hands. The difference between a callus and a corn is that a callus is typically larger and doesn’t have a defined edge like a corn. Callused skin is thick and so it is far less sensitive to the touch than the surrounding skin. This thick skin develops when the skin on your foot rubs against something like a bone, the ground or your shoe. They will often form on the ball of your foot because this is the part of your foot that takes the brunt of your weight when you walk.
The causes of calluses on the feet
There are a lot of causes of calluses, but activities that put a repeated pressure on the foot like running and walking without shoes are a very common cause. Athletes are very prone to developing calluses because of the amount of running they do.
Other causes of calluses include:
Reduced padding in the feet and hands – older people have less of the fatty tissue in their skin that absorbs repeated pressure
Regularly holding objects like hammers or a tennis racquet can cause calluses on the hands
You should only ever begin treating your calluses after your podiatrist has identified the cause and advised you of the best treatment for your calluses. Your podiatrist may be able to treat your calluses by using a sharp blade to remove the area of hard skin. This is typically painless and should help with any pain and discomfort that you are in. They’ll also be able to instruct you on some self-care methods that you can do at home and prescribe insoles if needed.
For those of you worried about getting a callus, there are some prevention methods that you can use. The best way to prevent calluses is by looking after your feet and wearing the correct shoes.
Try these prevention methods to stop hard skin developing:
- Use a pumice stone or a foot file regularly to remove hard skin.
- Dry your feet fully after washing them and apply a moisturising foot cream.
- Wear comfortable shoes that fit correctly. Shop for shoes after midday, your feet swell throughout the day and this way your shoes will be comfortable all day. Make sure you can move your toes and there is a space between your toes and the front of your shoe. If possible, avoid wearing heels as they put more pressure on your feet and can cause calluses.
Most importantly, do not ignore foot pain. If you think you have a problem with your feet, make an appointment with a podiatrist as quickly as you can. Prolonged foot pain can cause other long-term health conditions and so it should be dealt with quickly.
If you found this article about calluses on your feet helpful, please explore our website further. We have a huge library of articles on here about common foot conditions and the treatments for them that you may find also find useful.