A callous is an area of hard skin that forms, as a result of excessive friction and/or pressure.
This should not be confused with dry skin, which is completely different. The function of a callous is to protect the area of skin where it forms, preventing the breakdown of the soft tissue, which would otherwise result in an open wound. They can be found anywhere on the foot.
The most common areas for them to develop are, on the knuckles of the toes, the heels and the ball of the foot, but can also be found in the nail groves and under damaged nails.
Moisturising is probably one of the best home treatment for callouses. It will not cure them, but it should keep them at an acceptable level. If moisturising has little effect, there are a number of treatment options available which our podiatrists will discuss with you.
If the callous does not respond to moisturising and there are no other associated symptoms, such as joint pain, in your feet, knees or hips, our preferred option is to remove the callous, and monitor it to see how quickly it recurs.
There should be no pain involved in having the callous removed as we do not want to cause any further damage to the tissues of your foot. If the callous is aggressive and recurs quickly, it indicates that your foot is being subjected to excessive pressures.
In this case the underlying cause must be resolved so that we can attempt to prevent structural damage to your feet and preserve your mobility into the future. If the callous is accompanied by any associated foot, ankle, leg, knee or hip pain, a gait assessment is indicated to determine the best course of action for you.