Calluses can often be unsightly and uncomfortable with every step. In general, calluses are no cause for alarm, but they can lead to more serious conditions such as infections due to ulcerations. Luckily, calluses are easily treated, and you can take a number of preventative measures to allow you walk freely.
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Foot Callus Causes
Foot calluses are thick and hardened layers of skin that result from excessive friction and pressure. Dead skin cells accumulate and harden over areas that experience the most friction. The ball of the foot, the heel and the big toe are all areas of the foot that are prone to calluses. Calluses can be caused by wearing shoes that do not fit or are too high, obesity, abnormalities in walking patterns and having flat feet.
Placing duct tape over the affected area can help alleviate friction while walking and thus help minimize the formation of calluses. Your feet must be properly cleaned beforehand to make the duct tape stick.
Duct Tape Alternatives
Shoe inserts may help people with an underlying foot deformity such as flat feet or very high arches. Other treatments include soaking your feet in water to soften calluses thus making them easier to remove. You can also try using a pumice stone to thin layers of thickened skin while bathing. Moisturize your feet daily to keep them soft and always wear comfortable shoes.
Dos and Don'ts
When trying to remove calluses avoid using very sharp objects such as a knife or a razor blade as they can lead to severe injury and infection. In some cases, calluses may be a sign of an underlying illness. Diabetes, for example, causes poor circulation to the feet, therefore individuals suffering from this illness are likely to get calluses more easily. If calluses are an uncomfortable and debilitating problem for you, consult your doctor to determine the best treatment.
Callus Prevention Tips
To avoid calluses altogether, the CNN Health website advises that you wear shoes that do not constrict your feet and women should avoid wearing high heels. Using protective coverings like bandages over affected areas and wearing socks can also help reduce moisture in your shoe thereby decreasing the amount of friction you may face while walking.