Callouses are a build up of dead skin and generally form on the heel, on the side of the big toe or on the ball of the foot. The areas can be bulbous, red and protruding or just dry and flaky.

cal_picCallouses can often take months or years to develop. There are two main causes for the development of a callous; the first is due to irritation and can be the result of ill-fitted shoes.

The second is due to added pressure to an area. The foot normally adapts to added pressure from activities such as walking and running by equally distributing the weight throughout the foot. However, sometimes weight is shifted in an unequal position, which leads to a specific area of pressure, and the foot deals with this repetitive pressure by forming a callous in that spot.

To fully treat a callous the underlying condition needs to be determined and treated appropriately, a callous is more a symptom than a condition. Callouses can be treated with pumice stones but this is only a temporary solution and they are likely to return over time if the cause is not addressed. The problem can

often be treated with proper footwear. Shoes need to control the excess pressure on the foot and shift the weight on the foot to a normal equal distribution. A chiropodist may suggest the use of a special insert or an orthotic device, custom made to your feet and problem.

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