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. The skin forms a callus in an attempt to prevent painful blisters. The dead, callused skin develops to protect itself from friction and pressure.
What are the symptoms?
- Thick itchy skin
- Areas of hardened skin
- Dry, cracking, and scaly skin
What can cause a callus?
Calluses on the soles of the feet typically occur from sliding friction that arises from wearing a poorly-fitted shoe. Walking and running are the primary causes of callused feet as a result of the friction and pressure present during the activity. Any other activity that presents added pressure and friction may result in callus formation, including hiking, dancing, and wearing high heels.
What are the treatment options?
Calluses are rarely a serious condition unless accompanied by diabetes or any other condition that results in poor leg circulation, leaving you prone to ulcers and other infections. Treatment for calluses simply entails removing the source of friction and irritation; however, your doctor may shave the callus to provide you with relief. The callus generally disappears within a few weeks upon removing the source of irritation.