by Georgie on August 17, 2013

A Callus is an area of thick hard skin, often yellow in colour and usually oval in shape. It often occurs on the ball of the foot and develops to protect the foot from pressure and friction. It often won’t be painful but it can cause discomfort or even a burning sensation.

What is a callus?

Calluses can develop on hands, feet, or anywhere there is repeated friction. Like corns, calluses have several variants. The common callus usually occurs when there’s been a lot of rubbing against the hands or feet. A Callus  found on the bottom of the foot is called a plantar callus .Formation of calluses is caused by an accumulation of dead  thickened hard skin, often found on the ball of the foot or the inside of the big toe.. It is often oval in shape and yellow in colour. This oval shape is sometimes referred to as a plaque and it can be quite hard to touch.

This callus formation is the body’s defense mechanism to protect the foot against excessive pressure and friction.

Some corns and calluses on the feet develop from an improper walking motion, but most are caused by ill-fitting shoes. High-heeled shoes are the worst offenders. calluses develop because of excessive pressure at a specific area of the foot. Other causes are shoes that are too small, obesity, abnormalities in the gait cycle (walking motion), flat feet, high arched feet, bony prominences, and the loss of the fat pad on the bottom of the foot. High heeled shoes  put pressure on the toes and make women four times as likely as men to have foot problems. Other risk factors for developing a corn or callus include foot deformities and wearing shoes or sandals without socks, which leads to friction on the feet.

Rubbing or pressure  can  cause infections to develop  when bacteria enter corns through breaks in the skin and cause the infected corn or callus to release fluid or pus.

What is the difference between thick hard skin and a callus?

The medical term for thick hard skin is callus, so there is no difference between the two.

When you talk about “thick, hard skin” you are more likely to be referring to skin that covers larger areas across the ball of foot or heel or specific areas on the toes. When you talk about “callus” you are more likely to be referring to a defined plaque, often found on the ball of the foot.

 Treatment and Prevention

Many people try to alleviate the pain caused by calluses by cutting or trimming them with a razor blade or knife. This is not the way to properly treat calluses. This is very dangerous and can worsen the condition resulting in unnecessary injuries. There are specially manufactured devices to treat a  Callus . To relieve the excessive pressure that leads to callus formation, weight should be redistributed equally with the use of an orthotic. ( A foot orthotic  is comprised of  a specially fitted insert or foot bed to a shoe.  providing e support for the foot by distributing pressure or realigning foot joints while standing, walking or running. ) An effective orthotic transfers pressure away from the “hot spots” or high pressured areas to allow the callus to heal. . Women should also steer away from wearing high-heeled shoes. As always, surgery should be the very last resort.

Some devices are not suitable for people with diabetes or poor circulation.Always check with your health professional–/show/409807

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