Posts for tag: callus

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
September 12, 2016
Tags: callus  

At Affiliated Foot & Ankle we find that most patients do not consider calluses a cause for concern. However, there’s more to calluses than what you see on the surface. What may appear as just a minor annoyance can become a debilitating problem. Here are some facts about calluses you should know:

FACT: A callus, or hyperkeratosis as it’s known in medical jargon, is defined as an area of thickened, hard skin. On the feet, calluses most commonly develop on the heel, ball of the foot or outside of the big toe.

FACT: Although calluses appear to be a skin problem, they are in fact, actually a sign of a bone issue in the foot. The long metatarsal bones are responsible for calluses in two locations: a plantar callus, which forms in the heel and an intractable plantar keratosis (IPK) which forms in the ball of the foot. In both cases, one metatarsal bone is either longer or lower than the other metatarsals, causing pressure and irritation to a specific spot in the heel or ball of the foot. The callus builds up over time as a form of protection for the soft layers of tissue.

FACT: Sometimes calluses can be painful because of nerves and bursa sacs under them that become irritated. This pain can range from a dull ache or soreness to seriously sharp and shooting pains.

FACT: Over the counter treatment for callus removal exists but needs to be used with caution as they most often use a very strong acid to break down the callus, which can burn the skin. A callus may also be removed by softening the skin with warm water and rubbing away dead skin with a pumice stone or emery board. However, removal without dealing with the cause of the callus is fruitless. If you have a callus, make an appointment to see one of our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah. The foot doctor can determine why the callus has formed and treat the source with orthotics or make suggestions for shoes that will help alleviate the problem. The podiatrist can also use cortisone injections or other medication to relieve inflammation.

FACT: In most cases, these measures will take care of a callus. In rare instances of a stubborn or recurring callus, surgery may be necessary to eliminate the problem. If you have questions about treating a callus, contact our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office today.