DEFINITON – Callous is the thickening of the surface layer of the skin. Build-up of some callous on the feet is normal and healthy up to a point, but when it builds up too much, callous becomes very hard and dries out, it may then crack the skin and hence become painful.

CAUSES – Through everyday walking, standing and bearing the normal pressures of movement, your feet are sometimes subjected to a lot of friction or pressure on specific parts of your feet’s skin. Corns and callous are a natural response of the body, to continuous pressure or friction in specific areas of the foot. Corns and excessive callous can therefore be the symptoms of underlying problems and may be early warning signs of abnormalities in the bone structure or in the way you walk. They can also be caused by ill-fitting or inappropriate footwear. Elderly people tend to develop more callous quickly because they have less fatty tissue in their feet to act as protective cushioning.

TREATMENT – Since excessive callous and corns are often symptoms of other problems, it is important to have a podiatrist check your feet and find the cause of the callous or corns. Excessive callous and painful corns can be regularly pared back and gently removed by a podiatrist but to prevent them from reoccurring, the pressure on the foot needs be redistributed for long term relief. This can be achieved by wearing arch support insoles (also called “orthotics”) which will correct the way someone walks and redistribute the continuous pressure or friction in specific areas of the foot.

Footwear may need to be checked and changed since properly fitting shoes are essential to prevent extrafriction. The daily use of a moisturiser on your feet will help keep your skin supple. For elderly people, the loss of natural padding can be compensated by wearing felt padding in the shoes for shock absorption.

For any questions about callous, orthotics, or what can be done to solve your foot problem, give us a call.

Back to Top

Related Links

How orthotics work
What to look for in a well-fitting shoe (Pedorthic Footwear Association US)
More information on callous (Podiatry Channel US)
Different treatments of callous (Podiatry Channel US)
Selecting the correct shoe (

All information provided on this web site is for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon for medical diagnosis, prognosis or treatment for any specific conditon or individual. Always seek the advice of your physician or other healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. The information found here is no substitute for the advice of a qualified physician.



© Copyright FootWise Podiatry Centre 2005.
All Rights Reserved.