COMMON CAUSES & TREATMENTS FOR CALLUSES
By Bethesda, MD & Springfield, VA Podiatrist, Dr. Paul Ross of The Podiatry Center
We can all agree that feet are significant, and taking proper care of them is, too. When one area of the foot experiences more pressure or skin irritation that the rest, it can cause calluses to form. Though they are most common on feet, people get calluses in other areas as well because they affect the skin.
What Are Calluses?
Calluses form through recurring tension or friction on the skin. They can form anywhere on the body, but the most frequent places are hands and feet. Your body forms calluses as a defense; think of a “writer’s bump” or the calluses of someone who plays a stringed instrument such as a guitar or violin.
When we talk about the feet, calluses commonly form on the ball of the foot, the heel, or the side of the big toe. Though not often, sometimes calluses can become sore, especially if you continue the activity that caused the callus to form in the first place.
What Are Corns?
Corns are slightly different from calluses, but they can look and feel just about the same. Corns are smaller than calluses and develop on the sides and tops of the feet instead of the bottom. Corns also have a center that’s thicker and has more intense dry, thick skin, and calluses don’t have that center.
The Most Common Causes of Calluses
There are numerous common causes for calluses, some environmental and some coming from the body itself. Some common causes are:
- Going barefoot
- Damaged sweat glands
- Manual labor
- Flat feet
- Ill-fitting footwear
- Foot deformity
No matter what the cause, you can encourage calluses to go away in several ways depending on how bad they are. Sometimes it’s as easy as getting some new shoes; other times, you’ll have to be more proactive about the solution.
Treatment For Calluses
Warning: do not try to get rid of calluses by cutting them! You could injure your foot or cause an infection. If you have diabetes, a visit to your podiatrist is absolutely imperative to avoid the potential need for surgery.
- Wear the right shoes. If you wear heels or ill-fitting shoes a lot, you increase your chances of developing calluses. Make sure you wear properly fitting, comfortable shoes.
- Soak your feet. This softens the dead skin with the bonus of being relaxing. You can add chamomile tea, bath salts, Epsom salt, apple cider vinegar, bath oil, or baking soda to your foot soak to make it more effective and relaxing.
- Keep your feet moisturized. You can use a thick lotion designed for dry skin or even Vaseline. If you suffer from extremely dry feet, some people swear by using Bag Balm. Tip: put lotion and a pair of socks on just before bed so your feet can soak up that moisture therapy overnight.
- Use tools designed for feet. A foot file or pumice stone is great for the gentle elimination of calluses.
Our motto here at The Podiatry Center is to put your feet first. They’re the first things waking up in the morning and they carry you through your day; all day, every day. They’re important! If you want to take great care of your feet whether you have calluses or just prefer preventive maintenance, give us a call at (301) 656-6055.
Our Bethesda, Maryland (MD) and Springfield, Virginia (VA) Podiatry offices offer the most effective and state-of-the-art, quality podiatry care services with a smile to patients in our local community, including: Woodbridge VA, Fairfax VA, Annandale VA, Arlington VA, Alexandria VA, Burke VA, Gaithersburg MD, Potomac MD, Silver Spring MD, Rockville MD and Chevy Chase MD.
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