What to Do About Foot Calluses

Foot calluses are very common. And, they’re rarely a problem. Calluses are hard patches of skin that develop due to repeated pressure that is placed on an area. Extra layers of skin grow on top of each other to help protect the area from what’s irritating it. While calluses are often caused by pressure, you may also be more prone to developing them if you have certain foot deformities or arthritis.

Calluses are usually painless, but they can be unattractive. You may see them on your heels, big toes, or the balls or sides of your feet, because these are the parts of your feet that bear the most weight. In this blog, the providers at Great Lakes Foot and Ankle Institute explain what you can do about calluses on your feet.

Pay attention to your shoes

Podiatrists frequently talk about shoes for a good reason: Your choice of footwear plays a big role in your overall foot health. Wearing the wrong shoes can cause a number of foot problems, including calluses.

Avoid wearing shoes that are too narrow or too loose. Narrow shoes, such as high heels, can put pressure on your feet and cause calluses. If your shoes are too loose, your feet can rub against the insides of your shoes. 

In addition, you should make sure that you always wear socks with your shoes. Not wearing socks can cause more friction between your feet and your shoes, which can lead to calluses.

Home treatment for calluses

In many cases, you can manage your calluses at home. The first step is to soak your feet in warm water for 10-20 minutes. A lengthy warm-water soak can help soften the calluses.

After soaking your feet, you can try to gently remove the calluses with a pumice stone. This hard stone can remove the excess layers of skin that make up your calluses. However, you shouldn’t scrub hard, as doing so coud remove too much skin, which could cause you to bleed.

You can also use a moisturizing cream to keep your feet from getting too dry, as dry feet can lead to the development of calluses. If you need recommendations for which creams to use, the providers at Great Lakes Foot and Ankle Institute can help.

When to see a doctor

If you don’t want to deal with removing them yourself, or if you’re unable to remove them, or if they’re painful, you should see a podiatrist. Furthermore, if you have diabetes, you should see a podiatrist instead of trying to remove them yourself.

Here are some of the things a podiatrist can do about your calluses:

  • Trim away the excess skin
  • Apply salicylic acid to remove them
  • Recommend shoe inserts if your calluses are caused by a foot deformity  
  • Perform surgery to correct the alignment of a bone that’s causing friction (this is uncommon)

Foot calluses are very common, and they may be more likely to occur during the summer if you often wear sandals. Fortunately, they’re usually easy to manage. If you have calluses and want help removing them or guidance to prevent getting them, book an appointment over the phone with Great Lakes Foot and Ankle Institute today.