If you have foot calluses, you know how aggravating and unsightly they can be. Calluses on the feet can make walking extremely painful, and they can also hurt when shoes or socks rub against them. Foot calluses are small patches of rough and discolored skin and although they can develop on the feet, they are common in other parts of the body too; if you use tools or play a musical instrument, you may get calluses on the hands. A callus on the sole of the foot can be especially painful and is known as a plantar callus. A callus is not the same thing as a corn, although people tend to lump them together, and corns can be just as annoying and as painful.Shoes that don’t fit properly can cause several issues, one of which is the development of feet calluses. Women are several times more likely to suffer from feet calluses than men, simply because of poorly fitting and tight shoes, especially high heels. Damp shoes or socks can also cause corns or calluses, as calluses are more likely to develop in a closed and moist environment. Constant rubbing or chafing can also cause foot calluses, and your chances of having calluses develop are a lot higher if you wear sandals without socks. A bunion, hammertoe or other deformities of the foot can increase the chances of foot calluses developing.
Although foot calluses can be annoying, they are not usually a cause for concern, although if they aren’t treated, they can split open, emitting pus or blood, and causing the discomfort to become worse. In extreme cases, the infection in the callus can spread to the bone or the blood, even leading to blood infection. However, if you have diabetes and have a foot callus, it is important to get it treated as soon as possible. An infected foot callus or one that splits open can very quickly turn into an ulcer, and diabetics run the very real risk of having to have their foot amputated.
Foot Calluses can be avoided to a large extent, simply by making sure that your feet are clean and dry, you are wearing socks and that your shoes fit correctly and comfortably. Arch supports in your shoes can help to distribute weight more evenly, make your shoes more comfortable and can reduce the chances of foot calluses. Although it can be tempting to walk barefoot during the summer, wear shoes when walking outside, as walking on loose stones or rocks, or a hot surface can lead to calluses. If you have a foot deformity or misshapen feet you may need to take additional steps to avoid a callus, and your doctor can advise on the best approach.
If you are diabetic, it is even more important to do all possible to minimize the risks of foot calluses. Pus or fluid in the affected area, extreme swelling or pain, or split skin is all warning signs that you may need your doctor to look at your foot callus.