What is callus?
A callus or callosity is an extended area of thickened skin on the soles of the feet which also occurs on areas of pressure.
What causes callus?
It is the body’s reaction to pressure or friction, and can appear anywhere where the skin rubs against a bone, a shoe or the ground. Most calluses are symptoms of an underlying problem like a bony deformity, a particular style of walking or inappropriate footwear.
Who gets callus?
Some people have a natural tendency to form callus because of their skin type. Elderly people have less fatty tissue in their skin and this can lead to callus forming on the ball of the foot.
You can control a small amount of hard skin by using a foot file before a bath of shower. Use a moisturising cream (emollient) daily after bathing. Emollient creams delay callus building up and help improve the skin’s natural elasticity. Your podiatrist will be able to advise you on the most appropriate skin preparations for your needs. If this does not appear to be working, seek advice from a registered podiatrist or pharmacist.
If the callus is painful and feels as if you are “walking on stones”, consult a registered podiatrist who will be able to advise you why this has occurred and, where possible, how to prevent it happening again.
Your podiatrist can also remove hard skin, relieve pain and redistribute pressure with soft padding, strapping or corrective appliances (orthotics) which fit easily into your shoes. The skin should then return to its normal state. The elderly can benefit from padding to the ball of the foot, to compensate for any loss of natural padding.
Following daily or weekly regimes will improve the condition of your skin and will delay the onset of callus production. You may need to see your podiatrist regularly to keep the callus under control or consider the use of orthotics to prevent the cause of callus build up.