A callus is a thickened, hardened part of the skin that forms on the bottom of your foot, especially on the ball, the heel, or on the underside of your big toe. Most active people develop calluses. These tougher spots protect more sensitive layers when your feet are exposed to excessive amounts of pressure or friction. Calluses that persist and become painful, however, often require medical treatment.

Causes of Calluses

  • Bone spurs
  • Flat feet
  • Hammertoe sufferers are often prone to developing calluses
  • Playing sports that place a lot of pressure on your feet
  • Walking barefoot
  • Wearing ill-fitting shoes--tight and high-heeled shoes squeeze your feet; loose shoes can cause your feet to slide and rub against the shoes; and shoes with thin soles can increase the amount of pressure on the balls of your feet

Symptoms of Calluses

Credit: Andrew Bossi

  • Dry, hard, thick skin on your foot
  • Grayish or yellowish color to the hardened skin
  • Pain when walking or wearing shoes or when you apply pressure to it

Treatments for Calluses

  • Using pads to cushion the callus and reduce the pressure placed upon it
  • Wearing excellently fitting shoes, including custom-made orthotics --NOPA offers more than 150 unique possibilities

*Please be aware that we do not recommend cutting a callus yourself. This is dangerous and can lead to further injury. If your callus is persistent and painful and you would like to learn more about its removal, please call us at New Orleans Podiatry Associates. A podiatrist is especially trained to cut a callus. In the most severe cases, we may recommend an osteotomy , in which the metatarsal is cut and realigned so that calluses are less likely to form.

Prevention of Calluses

  • Gel pad inserts--Dr. Lang and his team at NOPA can help you determine which kind would be right for you
  • Wearing comfortable, properly fitting shoes--check out the Patient Forms page to get a list of shoes we recommend for women and men

For more information on callus treatment, call New Orleans Podiatry Associates in New Orleans, LA, at (504) 897-3627. For the Metairie, LA, location, call (504) 457-2300.

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