Calluses

Links

American Board of Podiatric Surgery

The American Board of Podiatric Surgery (ABPS), in accordance with standards published by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), conducts primary source verification of the podiatric medical school graduation, residency training completion, and state licensure for each ABPS member.  It is the recognized board certification organization by the American Podiatric Medical Association and the American College of Foot & Ankle Surgeons.

American College of Foot & Ankle Surgeons

The American College of Foot & Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS) is a professional society of more than 6,000 foot and ankle surgeons.  Founded in 1942, ACFAS seeks to promote the art and science of foot, ankle, and related lower extremity surgery, address the concerns of foot and ankle surgeons, and advance and improve standards of education and surgical skill.

Foot Health Facts-Healthy feet for an Active Life

The patient education website of the American College of Foot & Ankle Surgeons.

American Podiatric Medical Association

Founded in 1912, the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, is the leading resource for foot and ankle health information.  Currently, the organization represents a vast majority of the 15,000 podiatrists in the country.  In addition to the national headquarters, APMA boasts 53 state component locations throughout the United States and its territories, as well as affiliated societies

Virginia Podiatric Medical Association

The state component of the APMA.

American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine

The American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine serves to advance the understanding, prevention and management of lower extremity sports and fitness injuries.  Useful articles and various athletic shoe lists are found on this site.

American Professional Wound Care Association

The American Professional Wound Care Association is a non-profit medical association welcoming all medical specialties involved in treating the various forms of non-healing wounds, including diabetic, vascular, ischemic, pressure ulcers, burns and cancer.

Northcoast Footcare

Northcoast Footcare is an online resource for reliable and up-to-date foot health information. Northcoast Footcare, Inc has a complete resource of patient information for common foot conditions, such as plantar fasciitis, tendonitis and bunions as well as step by step tratments for each condition.  We believe that images, diagrams and illustrations are the best way to help individuals understand their foot problems.  Northcoast Footcare has the greatest number of graphicson the web for help on diagnosis and treatment of foot and ankle conditions.  Content and articles written by Christine Dobrowolski, DPM, MS.

American Diabetes Association

The American Diabetes Association mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.  This site is an excellent resource for anyone desiring more information about diabetes.

A callus, also known as hyperkeratosis, is an area of hard, thickened skin that can occur across the ball of the foot, on the heel, or on the outer side of the big toe. Although many consider them a skin problem, they are indicative of a problem with the bone.

Calluses form from repeated friction and pressure, as the shoe (or ground) rubs against a bony prominence (bone spur) on the toe or foot. The skin thickens in response to this pressure. Small amounts of friction or pressure over long periods of time cause a corn or callus. A great deal of friction or pressure over shorter periods of time can cause blisters or open sores. Calluses typically develop under a metatarsal head (the long bone that forms the ball of the foot). Calluses have painful nerves and bursal sacs (fluid-filled balloons that act as shock absorbers) beneath them, causing symptoms ranging from sharp, shooting pain to dull, aching soreness.

Calluses can be treated with over-the-counter callus removers, which use strong acids to peel this excess skin away after repeated application. Be careful using these products as they can cause chemical burns when misapplied or used in excess. Alternatively, treat calluses as follows: Begin by soaking the foot or feet in warm soapy water and gently rubbing away any dead skin that loosens. Next, use a pumice stone or emery board to file away the thickened skin. Apply a good moisturizer to the hardened areas to keep them softer and relieve pain. Nonmedicated corn pads or moleskin (a thin fuzzy sheet of fabric with an adhesive back) are available in stores and can relieve pain caused by calluses. However, use caution removing pads or moleskins to avoid tearing the skin.

If you need assistance relieving calluses, please contact our office. We can trim and apply comfortable padding to the painful areas. In more severe cases, we may prescribe medication to relieve inflammation, or inject cortisone into the underlying bursal sac to rapidly reduce pain and swelling.

A plantar callus forms on the bottom of the heel over time where one metatarsal bone is longer or lower than the others. This structure causes the one metatarsal to hit the ground first and with more force than it is equipped to handle. As a result, the skin under this bone thickens. In most cases, plantar calluses can be treated without surgery. In some recurring cases, however, a surgical procedure, called an osteotomy, is performed to relieve the pressure on the bone.

A condition called Intractable Plantar Keratosis (IPK) is a deep callus directly under the ball of the foot. IPK is caused by a "dropped metatarsal," which happens when the metatarsal head drops to a lower level than the surrounding metatarsals and protrudes from the bottom of the foot. This results in more pressure being applied in this area and causes a thick callus to form. A dropped metatarsal can either be a congenital abnormality, a result of a metatarsal fracture, or a structural change that may have occurred over time.

You can prevent calluses by:

  • Switching to better-fitting shoes or using an orthotic device to correct an underlying cause.
  • Buying socks with double-thick toes and heels or nylon hose with woven cotton soles on the bottom of the foot.