Calluses on feet is a very common foot problem suffered by many people. More common in women than men, they can be quite painful and difficult to deal with.
What Are Calluses On Feet?
A callus is a rough patch of skin that develops somewhere on the body. Although they are especially common on the feet, they also often appear on the hands from doing manual work. Calluses are small patches of dead skin that develop as a result of pressure and friction on a particular area of the body. There are several types of callus that can appear. The sole of the foot is usually where plantar calluses are found while a common callus can develop anywhere that suffers from repeated friction.
What Is The Cause of Calluses On Feet?
Most calluses on the feet are caused by poorly fitting shoes. Pointed and high heeled shoes which push the foot forward and cause undue pressure are the most common culprits of these foot complaints, hence the reason why women are more likely to be sufferers. It is also possible to develop corns and calluses from walking incorrectly. If you frequently wear shoes without socks or tights, you may incur friction on the feet which develops into soft corns and plantar calluses. Sometimes, warts may be mistaken for calluses, and in any case where you notice a hard patch of skin without any obvious pressure source, have it checked out by a doctor. It may even be a splinter or other foreign body trapped under the skin of your foot. Unfortunately, feet are the breeding ground for all kinds of bacteria as they are usually trapped in an enclosed and sweaty environment which is ideal for breeding infections. Corns can easily become infected if bacteria gets into cuts or breaks in the skin of the feet. This may result in pus or fluid being discharged from the infected corn.
How Can Calluses On Feet Be Treated?
Generally, cessation of the friction or pressure is enough to cause a corn or callus to gradually disappear. In some cases, a doctor can reduce the depth of a callus by shaving off the top. There are also commercially available liquids and plasters which contain salicylic acid and which claim to remove corns and calluses however it is worth checking with a doctor as to whether this sort of treatment would be appropriate for you. As an interim measure, you can use a moleskin plaster to assist in relieving pressure on a corn. If your have infected corns, you can take oral antibiotics and possibly have a small incision made in the affected area to drain away pus. To assist in removal of calluses, try rubbing the area with a pumice stone then applying moisturising cream for up to an hour and covering with a sock. If recommended by a doctor, you can use stronger creams but avoid hydrocortisone as it can worsen a fungal condition. Surgery is a possibility to remove plantar calluses but there may be some regrowth. Always try to avoid getting feet wet and avoid tight fitting shoes and synthetic fibres. You may find that a podiatrist determines that you have an abnormal foot structure or walking motion which is causing pressure on your feet. In this instance, you may be prescribed orthopaedic shoe inserts to correct the problem.
Is There A Way To Prevent Calluses?
The best way to prevent corns and calluses is to always wear correctly fitting shoes with an appropriate length and width. It is also wise to avoid very high heels and shoes with pointed toes. If you are required to wear shoes of this nature to work on a regular basis, try to wear a lower heel or travel to work in flat shoes and spend as much time seated as possible when wearing high shoes. If your shoes’ soles are showing signs of wear, make sure you have them repaired or replaced to prevent your feet from shock. Also check shoe linings for damage as worn linings can hurt your feet and be home to bacteria. If the heels of your shoes are becoming worn down, make sure to visit a cobbler and have them repaired or replaced. Worn down heels subject your heel bone to uneven pressure. If you notice uneven wear to the soles and heels of your shoes, with one side wearing more than the other, take the time to visit a podiatrist and discuss the matter. It could be indicative of an abnormal walking motion that requires the use of corrective inserts in your shoes. People who suffer from hammertoes, with toes that buckle under, should always make sure that they purchase shoes with plenty of space inside in order to ensure they have enough room for their toes.
Get in touch with The Foot and Leg Clinic and we can make you the correct size shoes for your feet.