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Calluses

At the early stages corns and calluses are mostly a nuisance because they don't look very good. As they become more prominant, particularly corns because they are less difuse can become painful. The focal pressure generated will start to hurt the deeper tissues beneath the corn or calluse.

Corns and calluses can develop anywhere, but are most common in the ball of the foot behind the second and third toes, on the inside lower corner of the big toe and the ball of the foot behind the big toe, and on the little toe side from constantly rubbing on the shoe upper when walking. A bunion can even form on the pinky side called a Taylor's Bunion.

Calluses on the heels from loose fitting shoes that rubs are common, and a calluse may even form on top of the heel bone right where the Achilles tendon attach.  

Common Causes   •   •   •   •   •   •   •   •   •   •   •   •   •

The body has lots of different defense mechanisms, and one is to thicken the skin when it is exposed to increased pressure and shear forces or friction. The environment inside your shoes is particularly bad, especially with modern footwear that use rubber-like outsoles so they stick to the ground without moving. That means that any twisting motion you may have is all occurring inside your shoes, so with the pressure and the rubbing, the skin responds by starting to thicken. Poorly fitting shoes are also a common reason for calluses.

 

  

This calluse pattern is very typical for people who over pronate.

How to eliminate the problem

If your calluses are extreme, you might want to see a pedicurist to have them removed, but usually a nice warm Epsom Salt foot bath and a little work with a pumice stone will do the trick. When you remove your calluses, be careful not to be too ambitious so you don't create a wound in a spot that us suceptible to pressure and friction.

Unless you also take care of your foot mechanics, your calluses will just come back. The goal is to minimize focal pressure and rubbing which is a motion associated with Morton's Foot Syndrome, an elevated first metatarsal and over pronation (arch drops and ankle rolls inward when standing and walking). If you prevent your feet from over pronating, your calluses will naturally go away because the skin is not stimulated to protect itself and thicken