Callus is excessively thick skin, on the palms and the feet soles, that develops slowly due to repeated pressure and friction. They usually cover large areas and are mostly seen on the heels or balls of the feet.
Although they are harmless, treating callus is important because it is unsightly, annoying and painful. In rare case, it can lead to other feet infections. Although callus is usually prominent on feet soles, it can appear on other parts of the body like hands, like in case of weight lifters, as a part of reaction to moderate or constant grinding pressure.
What causes formation of callus?
The foremost cause of callus is ill fitting and tight shoes but at the same time walking bare foot can also cause callus. It mostly comes about because of uneven distribution of body weight on the ball or heel of the foot.
Who are more prone to developing callus?
1. String instrument players develop calluses on their fingers due to injuries and pressure from the strings. This in a way helps them as the thick skin protects their fingertips.
2. Body builders and people, who work with instruments, develop callus on the balls of their palms.
3. Dancers and athletes often develop callus on the soles of their feet from dancing barefoot.
4. Video game players develop callus on their thumb.
5. Working with chemicals, especially toxins like arsenic can stimulate the growth of callus and make the skin to grow harder.
The way out
With proper fitting footwear and simple home remedies, feet calluses will gradually reduce in size and finally disappear. To remove callus, gently exfoliate the hard skin with a pumice stone. In most cases this alone may be enough to remove the excess skin and ease any pain or discomfort.
An inexpensive home remedy to remove callus is to soak the feet for 15-20 minutes in a warm soap solution to which borax or iodine have been added. This softens the callus and the layer of dead skin can be rubbed away with a cloth towel, effortlessly.
This also stimulates the growth of fresh and soft skin. Repeated soaking and scrubbing, over a period of several days, will remove the callus completely. Grit sandpaper can also be used for scrubbing callus if it is too hard.
A cushion pad or a soft insole can be used to decrease the pain, due to calluses, and in due coarse of time it will also help in reducing them. Avoid walking barefoot, keep the feet clean and moisturize them to keep this problem at bay.
And most importantly, you must always avoid cutting the calluses by blade as it can worsen the situation and can lead to infection.