A callus commonly forms on areas of the feet where there is pressure on the skin such as the heel or ball of the foot. Some calluses do not require treatment, but for those with certain conditions such as poor circulation or diabetes, a callus can turn into a bigger problem if not treated properly.
Causes of Foot Calluses
Calluses develop due to excessive pressure on certain areas of the feet. They can form for a variety of reasons, including:
- Wearing shoes that are too tight or that have a high heel
- Being overweight
- Having an uneven walking gait
- Having a condition such as flat feet or a high arch
- Having bony protrusions on the feet such a bunion or hammertoe
Treatment and Prevention
If you have a condition such as diabetes, it is important to treat any calluses on your feet immediately before they become a problem. Those with diabetes are at a higher risk for infection and other possible complications that can result from a callus. Since many calluses do not cause pain, you may not realize you have one until it becomes infected. A thickened callus can open up and develop into an ulcer. Ulcers that do not heal can become infected and lead to complications such as a bone infection and/or gangrene, and some may lead to a foot amputation.
If you have a callus on your foot, consult with a podiatrist for an evaluation. A podiatrist will exam your foot to determine the cause of the callus and if there are any underlying problems. For some, an X-ray may be ordered to confirm the diagnosis. Treatment is not always needed for a callus unless it is causing symptoms or pain. Never attempt to trim or cut a callus at home. A podiatrist can safely remove any calluses that are causing problems.
To prevent calluses from forming on your feet, you can take the following precautions:
- Wear shoes that fit properly and do not rub.
- Always wear socks to protect your feet.
- Use a pumice stone on areas of the feet where skin is thickened, and moisturize to keep your feet soft. Do not use moisturizer between your toes.
- Wear custom orthotics in your shoes to relieve pressure on your feet.
Contact a Podiatrist
If you have calluses on your feet, contact Greater Washington Podiatry for an evaluation. We can provide a free initial consultation and create a treatment plan based on your specific needs. To set up an appointment, fill out our online contact form, or call our office today.