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What is a callus and why should you care?

A callus is the build-up of extra skin on the bottom of the foot. Many calluses can cause pain, but not all of them. Some people notice a burning sensation when a fair amount of callus has formed. The two most common places for calluses on the ball of the foot are under the second and fifth metatarsal bones. When a callus forms, it means there’s an unusually high pressure point or friction in this area. The pressure point or friction is most often caused by a combination of your foot structure and how your foot moves. People with flat feet, normal arches, or high arches can develop calluses. Sometimes, ill-fitting shoes can be the culprit. Some people develop a high pressure point because they’re compensating for pain in their knee, hip, or back. Home care of a callus should NEVER consist of using a sharp implement. Using a pumice stone and moisturizing cream are both perfectly safe. Also, make sure your shoe size is accurate. Don’t assume that your foot size hasn’t changed. Shoes that are too big or too tight can lead to the formation of calluses. Our treatment for a callus is to remove the excess skin and figure out the cause of the problem. Sometimes, custom designed inserts can alleviate the unusually high pressure point that has caused the condition. There are times when a surgical procedure is the best option. If you are experiencing pain on the ball of your foot, it could be from a callus. If the pain continues after trying some padding and better shoes, it would be advisable to see us. People with diabetes are most prone to a serious complication from a callus, including an open sore, a soft tissue infection, or a bone infection. A simple callus can become a complex problem if not addressed appropriately. We specialize in finding the causes and alleviating the pain of calluses.

Paul Betschart, DPM Dr. Betschart has over 26 years of experience in treating patients of all ages with all kinds of foot and ankle conditions. His mission is to provide you with helpful information about foot and ankle issues and the latest developments in healthcare.

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