Calluses (or Callosity)

Are you experiencing pain or irritation of the skin that is only further instigated by ill-fitting or uncomfortable shoes? Depending on the severity of the affected area, this could be a callus forming or potentially a foot corn. Calluses are areas of the skin that are thickened by constant or continuous friction and irritation.  This is one of the body’s defense mechanisms to protect the area that is constantly subject to pressure and friction, however they may become excessive and painful if not treated.

Callus Picture

colorado foot institute calluses

How might a Callus Develop?

A callus may form in a couple of different ways. People who often walk around barefoot develop calluses in place of shoes to protect the structural integrity of their feet.  Calluses might also develop on the underside of your toes, what is called the metatarsal head. These callus formations can be caused due to uneven distribution of pressure by the toes and is often seen in flatfooted patients.  Other times, calluses are simply the product of ill fitting shoes or socks. This can be amplified by working or exercising for extended periods of time in shoes that aren’t practical.

Callus Prevention

Prevention methods are relatively simple.  In fact preventing a callus from forming is much easier than treating a callus that has already formed. For many people, prevention is as simple as checking your feet for areas of friction and wear and replacing irritating shoes with more comfortable footwear that are more conducive to your lifestyle. Those developing calluses under their toes caused by uneven weight distribution will need to look into medical sole inserts or custom fit shoes.

Treatment of Calluses

It is possible for a corn or foot callus to dissipate naturally by simple alleviating the affected area of the friction and pressure on a consistent and regular basis. They may also be removed by dissolving agents such as solutions containing salicylic acid or by simply sanding them down with a pumice callus remover. The most effective and least painful method is to have them pared down. (Check with your insurance to see if this is a covered benefit.)

Complications of Diabetes

Anyone who experiences bleeding within a callus or anyone with diabetes who may have calluses should consult their podiatrist immediately.  Corns and calluses in people with diabetes can be especially dangerous due to pre-existing circulation problems. In this case the calluses and corns can damage surrounding tissues and break down or damage already faulty capillaries. If blood pockets do occur beneath a callus and it becomes exposed to air it will then become susceptible to infection. It is very important to consult a podiatrist immediately if you believe you may belong to this category.

Let Us Help You

Removing calluses yourself can be a long and potentially painful process and if not done properly can result in infection. However, callus removal is an easy and pain free process here at the Colorado Foot Institute.  In order to properly treat the problem, we first assess the cause of these calluses.  Then we develop the most effective plan to properly manage them. There are many options to take care of unsightly or painful calluses including regular maintenance of the problematic areas, custom fit or padded footwear, orthotics, or surgical correction depending on the severity.

As director of the Colorado Foot Institute, Dr. Mechanik is Board Certified in Foot Surgery and Board Certified in Reconstructive Rear Foot and Ankle Surgery. He has the medical and surgical skills to treat your foot conditions and he warmly extends his services to patients suffering from this or other foot and ankle conditions.

Dr. Mechanik received his Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) degree from the the Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine which is part of the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, a national leader in medical education. Dr. Mechanik then went on to complete a twenty-four month post-graduate Residency training program in Foot and Ankle Surgery and completed a twenty-four month surgical Fellowship program in Lower  Extremity Musculoskeletal Surgery. Dr. Mechanik is a Fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons and a  Diplomate, American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery.