Calluses: General information

Foot comprises of many parts like, heel, toes, ball of the foot. There are many abnormalities associated with foot and its components. Some of these abnormalities are less harmful and some may lead to serious health complications. Calluses (thickening of skin layer) are considered as less serious abnormality.

Description of Callus

Callus is a condition when thickening of skin surface layer develops. In fact, calluses are result of response of body system to the pressure. Ball of foot, inner-side of the big toe and heel are considered as most common sites for occurrence of calluses.

According to the available sources, more cases of calluses are found in women when compared to the men. Occurrence of calluses is a common medical condition in women.

This is how Calluses form

Calluses are nothing but thickening of skin layer. Such thickening of skin layer is resulted from accumulation of dead cells of skin. These dead cells become thick (as a result of accumulation) and hard and produce hard and thick surface over foot area, specifically over heel, toes or ball of foot.

Symptoms of Calluses

There may be varying symptoms depending upon the cause of occurrence of Calluses. Following are some of the common symptoms that will warn you regarding occurrence of Calluses.

  • Hard growth on parts of foot like toes, heel and foot of ball
  • Pain that increases with sustained weight and relieves with rest
  • Experience enhanced discomfort when using foot wear with high heels and thin sole

Causes responsible for occurrence of Calluses

The main cause behind occurrence of calluses is excessive pressure on a particular area of the foot. However, there are certain other factors that could contribute towards occurrence of Calluses. Following are some of the common causes responsible for development of calluses.

  • Use of high heeled footwear for prolonged times
  • Abnormality in alignment of metatarsal bones
  • Using tight (not fitting properly) foot wear or foot that are smaller than your foot size
  • Gait abnormalities
  • Feet with high arch
  • Flat feet
  • Abnormally long metatarsal bone
  • Bony prominence
  • Obesity. The excessive body weight exerts additional pressure on the foot and pressure is main cause behind occurrence of calluses
  • Abnormal (shorter) Achilles tendon
  • Loss of fat pad on the inner-side of foot

Treatment of Calluses

There are few therapies available for treating Calluses. Selection of the treatment option depends upon the cause that led to occurrence of calluses. Applying non-medicated pads around the affected area, with an aim of reducing/eliminating pressure is a common option.

Never trim or cut the calluses using knife or razor blade. Trying to cut or trim the calluses with such equipments may led to worsening of calluses and may even produce unwanted medical complications like infection or septic. Application of moleskin over calluses prone areas will provide protection against deterioration of calluses.