Patches of thick, hard layers of skin that sometimes develop on your feet are called calluses. Though unsightly, these areas are in fact a form of self-preservation– a natural survival instinct.
What Causes Calluses?
Calluses are the result of excessive amounts of localized friction and pressure. They usually occur in areas where there has been a lot of rubbing. Improper or irregular ranges of motion while walking are a possible cause, but they mainly develop as a direct result of improper footwear.
Wearing shoes that are too small or too large greatly increase your risk for developing these hard patches of skin. Be wary of uncomfortable seams or stitches in your footwear. If they are causing any sort of discomfort after 5 minutes, it’s advisable not to purchase them. High heels are at the top of the shoe offender’s list. Because of the amount of pressure they place on your toes, the rate that calluses appear is exponentially high.
Always wear socks. Not wearing socks, and even socks that fit poorly, will increase the amount of friction your feet endure. When they are too loose, your foot will rub and slide against your shoe.
Other risk factors include the existence of bunions, hammertoes, or other foot deformities. Any type of abnormal bump or bone located on your foot can cause unnecessary rubbing.
What are the Symptoms?
Don’t confuse your callus for a corn. A callus is a built up patch of dead skin. It typically develops on the ball of the foot or heel. They are rarely painful and come in a variety of shapes and sizes, though they are much larger than corns. The most common variant of a callus is a plantar callus, found on the bottom of your foot.
How Should I Treat a Callus?
The first step is to identify the problem. Discontinue wearing any shoes that advances the progression of calluses. If this is unavoidable, consider using protective padding. If your callus becomes painful, consult the doctors at Aadvanced Foot Care Associates straight away. To provide you with the proper relief they may:
- Trim the callus. These podiatric experts will decrease the size of your callus during an office visit. Do not attempt this on your own. Infections are likely to develop without proper consultation.
- Recommend antibiotic medication. If you have already tried to trim your callus at home and have cultivated an infection your doctor will prescribe medication.
- Suggest shoe inserts. In the event that the friction has been caused due to foot deformities, your doctor may prescribe custom orthotics. Orthotics will help to relieve your pain and discomfort, not only caused by your callus, but also from the underlying condition.
- Recommend surgery. In rare cases, surgery may be needed to correct an underlying structural problem. Correcting the alignment of the bones that are causing the friction will end chronic callus pain.
Consult the professionals at Aadvanced Foot Care Associates before attempting to treat your own calluses. Make an appointment at our Rego Park (718) 896-4433, Plainview (516) 822-9595, or Flushing (718) 969-2266 locations. You may also request an appointment online. We are trained to help your feet look and feel their best! We look forward to working with you!