Foot Calluses causes and Treatment

Calluses are flat areas of thickened skin mainly in the parts of the body which is exposed to repetitive stressors or pressures. Therefore, these are likely to occur in the feet and in the hands. The calluses are also known as ‘Tylomas’ and does not necessitate treatment unless it is painful or causes the affected persons day to day activities.

The calluses are diffused areas and are covered by dead tissues on the surface. The condition is the body’s response in adapting the skin to withstand repeated stressors such as pressure and friction. The repeated stressors will lead to a process known as ‘hyperkeratosis’ in which a protein called keratin will be deposited in the cells making them more tougher than a normal cell in the skin to resist the ongoing process. Apart from the deposition of keratin, the number of cells will also increase and many layers of cells will form the callus and most of them will be dead cells.

When considering the causes that lead to this condition following are widespread.

1. Ill-fitting shoes : By wearing shoes that are too tight or exerts undue pressures on places of the foot, it is possible for that person to develop calluses. Therefore, the shoes you wear need to fit the shape and the size of your foot. The shoe should also be comfortable and at times of friction, you can make use of padding which are available in the stores.

2. Manual labourers are more susceptible in developing calluses for their handling of equipment that exerts either pressure or friction on the feet.

3. Athletics : Persons who are engaged in athletics are likely to get calluses formed in their feet due to increased pressures and due to friction from running shoes which are exerted on their feet.

4. In adequate covering of your feet : When working or involved in activities that can exert too much pressure on the feet, it is advisable to wear protective shoes that will have adequate padding to protect you against these elements.

5. Body structure : Bony prominences, abnormal gaits, bad foot work in sports can all contribute to the formation of calluses.

Once a callus is formed, it is unlikely that it will disappear by itself. Usually it does not cause any symptom apart from the thickened feeling on touch. But, in certain instances it can develop in to a painful corn or even be infected. In such situation the callus needs to be treated and symptoms alleviated.

In treating these conditions, the patients themselves will be able to do certain things, such as,

1. Remove the underlying cause if possible

2. Bath the area in warm soapy water to make the callus soft

3. Cover the area until the sore gets healed

If the callus seems to be infected and giving you trouble, it’s time to talk to your doctor. The doctor or the Podiatrist will be able to do the following,

1. Prescribe antibiotics for infections

2. Remove the dead tissues by means of keratolysis using salicylic acid or liquid nitrogen treatment. Salicylic acid can be used in many forms to remove the dead tissues and can be applied by you as well.

3. Surgical removal of the callus.

4. Correction of bony abnormalities in the hands and feet.

It’s worth mentioning that the surgical techniques are hardly required and you should be able to manage the callus without leading to any complications by adhering to preventive techniques.