Treatment of Calluses
Calluses are found under the foot and toes or on top of the joints of toes. They are caused when the outside layers of skin start to thicken. This is usually from stress on the foot. Calluses can be very painful and uncomfortable. People of any age can suffer from calluses but generally the older you get the more chances are to develop calluses. Calluses may show if there is an abnormal amount of stress on a particular area of the foot. Wearing shoes that are too tight or wearing high heels could cause calluses to form.
Calluses are formed by a process known as hyperkeratosis. Hyperkeratosis is when the outside layer of skin thickens, this happens to protect any further damage happening to the foot. If calluses are painful then some form of treatment will be needed otherwise it can be left as it is. If you suffer from other foot conditions then it is for the best to get calluses treated whether in pain or not.
If you suffer from painful calluses then seek advice from a Registered Podiatrist. The podiatrist will be able to advice you on the best treatment suitable for your calluses. They can assess your feet to work out the reason you have calluses and help to prevent them.
Never try to cut off the calluses with a blade as this can cause an infection. You can soak your feet and use a pumice stone for small calluses but do not rub until the area is sore. It will be easier to manage if done regularly. It is also a good idea to look at your footwear, if they are too tight then they will rub and cause calluses. Also wearing high heels can add extra pressure on the sole of your feet thus causing painful calluses. It is important to wear shoes that are wide enough for your feet and do not put extra pressure on them.
Keeping your feet moisturised by using a moisturising cream everyday will help to keep your feet soft. It does not have to be a special foot cream, your daily moisturiser is sufficient. Make sure you rub the cream thoroughly into the foot but avoid in-between the toes. By doing this you will help to keep the calluses manageable and under control. There are special creams available to treat calluses but you should ask your podiatrist which one you should use as some creams contain acid which may not be suitable for you.
Podiatrists may carry out a biomechanical assessment to diagnose the reason for your calluses especially if you suffer continuously with painful calluses. Debridement is a treatment where thickening of the skin is reduced. This will be done by a podiatrist using a sterile scalpel. The treatment is not painful and will not involve cutting the skin. You will experience immediate relief but it will only be temporary if the cause of the calluses have not been looked into. This treatment will give relief from 6 weeks to approximately 6 months. Depending on how severe your calluses are, you may need this treatment regularly.
Going back to the biomechanical assessment. A podiatrist may carry out a gait scan to see how the foot touches the ground and what kind of impact it has on different areas of the foot. Podiatrists can use this information to make orthotics (insoles) that are right for your feet. These will correct the way your foot touches the ground. It may take a few weeks to get used to wearing these orthotics but after that they will feel a part of your shoe and comfortable to wear. Wearing orthotics may reduce the calluses that are formed or even prevent them thus no further treatment may not be required.
Surgery is also an option for people who suffer from painful calluses but it's only considered in extreme situations. If a definite problem has been identified such as the foot not functioning properly which is causing the calluses then surgery could be the answer. It is common in people who suffer from a condition called hammer toe. This raises the joint which causes it to rub and calluses to form. The toe could be straightened surgically to treat this condition as this will stop the toe from rubbing and calluses forming.
If you take simple steps to look after your feet then calluses do not have to be a problem. There are many treatments available to give relief and reduce pain where there are calluses.