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What is a Callus?

A callus is an area of thickened or hardened skin that appears on the bottom of the feet or hands as a result of repeated friction and pressure on the skin. Callus formation occurs in an attempt to prevent painful blisters and the dead callused skin develops to protect itself from the friction and pressure.

Callus Symptoms

  • Thick itchy skin
  • Areas of hardened skin
  • Dry, cracking, and scaly skin

What Causes Calluses?

Calluses on the soles of the feet typically occur from a sliding friction that arises from wearing a poorly fitted shoe. It is possible for calluses to form when pressure or friction is not present and this can be a result of excess skin formation (hyperkeratosis) of the top layer of skin. Walking and running are primary causes of callused feet as a result of the friction and pressure present during this activity. Any other activity that presents added pressure and friction may result in callus formation, including hiking, dancing (especially ballet), and wearing high heels.

Treatment and Prevention of Calluses

Calluses are rarely a serious condition (unless accompanied by diabetes or any other condition that results in poor leg circulation and are prone to ulcers and other infections) but can be unsightly. Typically, treatment for calluses simply entails removing the source of friction and irritation. The callus generally disappears within a few weeks upon removing the source of irritation. This might include wearing properly fitted shoes and/or wearing special socks that help eliminate this friction. It may be necessary or preferred to use a pumice stone or callus shaver, which can be purchased through our online store, to remove the callus.