Callus 101: Causes, Prevention and Treatment

Foot calluses, or rough patches of skin found on the ball, heels or small toes, is a normal occurrence for most people. Caused by compression and friction, foot calluses are your body’s way of protecting the skin underneath from irritation and pressure.

Though calluses are a normal occurrence for most people, some patients are more likely to develop calluses than others. If you walk without socks, wear shoes that are too narrow for your feet or you already have a medical condition that changes the normal alignment of the bones in your feet, you’re more likely to develop calluses on your feet.


How do I prevent calluses?

Foot calluses can be prevented by wearing proper socks and shoes, including proper fitting footwear both width and lengthwise. Ensuring that worn shoes are repaired and replaced regularly can give your skin some protection from the shock of walking on hard surfaces.


How do I treat calluses?

There are numerous home remedies to reduce the appearance of calluses, though the majority of calluses can be resolved with time off of your feet. You should refrain from using sharp objects to remove or reduce calluses, as this could lead to infection.

If you’re looking to reduce the calluses on your feet, try these home remedies:

  • Epsom Salts: Soaking your feet in a handful of Epsom salts in a bath or basin of warm water for ten minutes can greatly soften calluses, especially before manual exfoliation
  • Padding: Adding moleskin patches or soft pads can help to protect the skin from rubbing against shoes or socks.
  • Shoe inserts: Cushioned insole, arch support and heal counters can help to reduce friction on the skin, especially by moving pressure away from any problem areas.

If you are still experiencing pain from your calluses, be sure to schedule an appointment with one of our board-certified foot and ankle specialists. At Balance Foot & Ankle, we’re here to restore your balance and get you back on your feet.