It's NOT "Just a Callus."

"Just a callus."  I hear that all day long.  People presume that calluses come   "Just from walking or playing sports," or from "Wearing the wrong shoes."  In reality, a callus is a "Wear and tear indicator."  Calluses on the bottom of the foot are caused by abnormal pressure.  This means that one or more bones (There are 28 in EACH foot!)  are bearing proportionately more weight than they should. When this happens, the skin thickens from the overuse and causes the callused, thick skin to form.  As it grows, it gets painful.  Left untreated, it can lead to blisters and ulcerations (open sores on the foot). 

Short-term treatment involves pads/cushions (NON-medicated!) and carefully trimming away the dead skin.  However, if calluses persist or worsen, they should be evaluated.  A Podiatrist will professionally trim the lesions and recommend the best pads.  They will also do an exam and X-rays to determine the underlying cause of the problem.  Sometimes, we will put an insert in the shoe called an Orthotic which realigns the foot and controls the problem.  This is like using eyeglasses to correct nearsightedness.  In severe cases, surgery is needed to correct the bony problem.

When in doubt, check it out!

Scott L. Schulman, DPM

 Indiana Podiatry Group