Why do I have calluses? Common Causes and How to Prevent Them

Do you have calluses on your feet and don’t know why? Calluses are a common foot condition that can cause discomfort and pain. They are caused by an accumulation of dead skin cells from excessive pressure, friction, or irritation on the feet. 

Understanding why you have calluses and how to treat them is essential for keeping your feet healthy. In this blog post, we’ll look at common causes of calluses and how to prevent and treat them.

Understanding Calluses on Feet

Calluses are areas of thickened, hardened skin that form as a natural protective response to excessive pressure, friction, or irritation. They often develop on the soles of the feet, particularly in areas where there are pressure points, such as the heels or the balls of the feet. 

If you frequently wear ill-fitting shoes or engage in activities that put repetitive pressure on specific areas of your feet, you are more likely to develop calluses. These calluses can be quite painful and may make walking or standing uncomfortable. 

To remove calluses, there are several safe and effective home remedies available which we'll discuss in a little bit. 

Common Causes of Calluses

Calluses on the feet can be a real nuisance, but understanding the common causes can help you prevent them in the future. One of the primary culprits behind calluses is excessive pressure on certain areas of the feet. This can happen if you frequently wear ill-fitting shoes that don't provide proper support or cushioning. When your feet are constantly subjected to this kind of pressure, the skin tries to protect itself by thickening and hardening, resulting in the formation of calluses.

Another common cause of calluses is friction. If you engage in activities that involve repetitive motion or rubbing against certain areas of your feet, calluses can develop as a natural defense mechanism. This is often seen in athletes or individuals who participate in high-impact sports or activities that put strain on their feet.

It's important to note that calluses can also be caused by certain foot deformities, such as bunions or hammertoes. These conditions can lead to excessive pressure and friction on certain areas of the feet, resulting in the development of calluses.

Now that you have a better understanding of the common causes of calluses, you can take steps to prevent them. Properly fitting shoes with good support and cushioning can help reduce pressure and friction on your feet. Additionally, using protective padding or inserts can help distribute pressure more evenly and prevent callus formation. If you already have calluses, treating them promptly with safe home remedies or seeking professional help from your local Roanoke podiatrist can help you get rid of them and prevent further discomfort. 

Safe Home Remedies for Calluses

If you're dealing with calluses on your feet, you'll be relieved to know that there are safe and effective home remedies that can help treat them. Treating calluses at home is often the first line of defense, especially if they are not causing significant pain or discomfort. 

Here are some safe home remedies that you can try to alleviate the discomfort and get rid of calluses:

  1. Soaking your feet
    Start by soaking your feet in warm water for about 15-20 minutes. This will help soften the hardened skin and make it easier to remove.
  2. Using a pumice stone or foot file
    Once your feet are soaked, gently rub the callused area with a pumice stone or foot file. Be careful not to apply too much pressure as this can irritate the skin. Remember to always move the stone or file in a circular motion to avoid causing any further damage.
  3. Applying moisturizer
    After exfoliating the callused area, apply a thick layer of moisturizer or foot cream to keep the skin soft and prevent the formation of new calluses. Look for moisturizers that contain ingredients like urea or salicylic acid, as these can help further soften the skin.
  4. Wearing properly fitting shoes
    One of the best ways to prevent calluses from forming or getting worse is to wear shoes that fit properly. Shoes that are too tight or too loose can cause excessive pressure and friction, leading to callus formation. Invest in well-fitting shoes with good support and cushioning to help reduce pressure on your feet.

These home remedies are only effective for mild calluses. If your calluses are painful or persistent, it's important to seek professional help from your local Roanoke podiatrist. They can provide more targeted treatment options and help you address the underlying causes of your calluses.

Unsafe Home Remedies for Calluses

When it comes to treating calluses on your feet, it's important to know which remedies are safe and effective, and which ones can actually do more harm than good. While there are plenty of home remedies out there that claim to remove calluses, not all of them are recommended by professionals.

One common unsafe home remedy is using sharp objects, such as scissors or razors, to cut or scrape away the callused skin. While this may provide temporary relief, it can actually cause more harm than good. Using sharp objects increases the risk of injury and infection, especially if you accidentally cut too deep or break the skin.

Another unsafe home remedy is using over-the-counter callus-removing medications or patches. These products often contain strong acids that can burn or irritate the skin. If used improperly, they can cause chemical burns or allergic reactions. It's always best to consult with a podiatrist before using any medications or treatments on your calluses.

The goal is to safely and effectively remove calluses without causing further damage or discomfort. By avoiding unsafe home remedies and seeking professional guidance, you can ensure that your callus treatment is effective and safe for your feet.

Treatment Options for Calluses

Treatment options for calluses vary depending on the severity and underlying cause of the condition. In mild cases, where calluses are caused by ill-fitting shoes, simply changing to properly fitting footwear can often provide relief. Ensuring that shoes have enough space for your toes and offer proper support can help alleviate pressure and friction that lead to callus formation. Custom orthotic inserts can also be helpful in redistributing pressure and preventing further callus development.

For more stubborn calluses, there are several treatment options available. Podiatrists may recommend using salicylic acid patches or creams to soften the callus and promote its gradual removal. They may also perform debridement, a procedure in which they carefully shave or cut away the thickened skin.

If the underlying cause of callus formation is a foot deformity or structural issue, such as a bunion or hammertoe, podiatrists may recommend corrective measures. These may include using specialized padding, orthotics, or even surgery to realign the foot and relieve pressure.

Each case is unique. So be sure to seek professional guidance for the most appropriate treatment options for your specific situation.

Complications from Calluses in People with Diabetes

People with diabetes are more prone to experiencing serious complications from calluses on their feet. This is because diabetes can affect blood flow and nerve function, making it more difficult for the body to heal and fight off infections. 

When a person with diabetes develops a callus, it can quickly turn into a bigger problem if not properly treated. The pressure and friction from an ill-fitting shoe, for example, can cause the callus to become a sore or an open wound. This puts them at a higher risk for infections, ulcers, and even amputations if left untreated.

It's crucial for people with diabetes to be proactive in managing their calluses. This includes regularly inspecting their feet for any signs of calluses, properly cleaning and moisturizing their feet, and wearing appropriate footwear. It's important to avoid using sharp objects or aggressive home remedies to remove calluses, as this can increase the risk of injury and infection.

If you have diabetes and notice a callus on your foot, it's essential to seek professional help from a podiatrist. They can provide the necessary treatment and guidance to prevent complications and keep your feet healthy.

How Shenandoah Podiatry Can Help with Calluses

If you notice calluses on your feet, it's important not to ignore them. Calluses may seem harmless, but they can quickly turn into a bigger problem if not properly treated. Ignoring calluses or attempting to remove them with unsafe methods can lead to complications and discomfort.

Shenandoah Podiatry is here to help you with all your callus concerns. Our experienced podiatrists understand the discomfort and pain that can come from painful calluses on your feet. Whether your calluses are caused by pressure points on your feet, ill-fitting shoes, or any other factor, our team is ready to provide you with expert care and solutions.

When you visit Shenandoah Podiatry, we will thoroughly examine your feet to determine the underlying cause of your calluses. We understand that every patient is unique, and we will create a personalized treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. Our goal is to not only provide immediate relief from your calluses but also to address the root cause and prevent them from recurring in the future.

Our podiatrists have a range of treatment options available to effectively remove calluses and alleviate any pain or discomfort you may be experiencing. These may include the use of specialized orthotics or padding to redistribute pressure, or the safe and gentle removal of the calluses using medical-grade tools.

Dr. Jennifer Keller
Roanoke, VA Foot and Ankle Podiatrist
Post A Comment