At LMD Podiatry, we specialize in treating a variety of foot conditions, including callosity, or what is commonly known as calluses. These areas of thickened, hardened skin typically develop as a response to pressure or friction, often appearing on the feet as a natural protective measure. Whether you are an athlete frequently experiencing calluses or someone with a lifestyle that puts extra stress on your feet, we are here to help.

Our expert team, experienced in pediatric and diabetic footcare, as well as managing conditions like Achilles tendonitis and flatfoot, offers comprehensive solutions for managing and treating calluses. We utilize the latest techniques and treatments to reduce discomfort and prevent potential complications associated with callosity.

If you’re dealing with painful calluses or any other foot-related issues, don’t hesitate to reach out. LMD Podiatry is committed to providing personalized care and expert advice to help you maintain healthy feet. Contact us today at 954-680-7133 to schedule an appointment and take the first step towards comfortable and healthy foot conditions

In this article, we will explore the callosity of the foot, discussing its causes and highlighting remedial actions that can be taken to alleviate this condition. Led by experienced board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Lauren Dabakaroff, LMD Podiatry offers comprehensive foot and ankle care, encompassing both surgical and non-surgical solutions. With a focus on advanced diagnostics and a commitment to providing same-day appointments, our friendly environment prioritizes your foot health. Whether you are dealing with pediatric or diabetic foot issues, Achilles Tendonitis, or bunions, we have the expertise and state-of-the-art techniques to address your concerns effectively. Let’s delve into the world of callosity, understanding its origins, and finding the appropriate remedies for a healthier, more comfortable stride.

Causes of Callosity

Callosity, commonly known as a callus, is an area of thickened and hardened skin that forms due to repeated friction or pressure. Several factors can contribute to the development of callosity, including: Get in Touch Today

Friction and pressure

One of the primary causes of callosity is friction and pressure on the skin. When certain areas of the foot are subjected to repetitive rubbing or pressing, the skin reacts to protect itself by forming a thick layer of dead skin cells. This is the body’s way of creating a barrier to prevent damage to the underlying tissues. Reach Out for a Conversation

Improper footwear

Wearing ill-fitting or inappropriate footwear is another common cause of callosity. Shoes that are too tight, narrow, or have high heels can put excessive pressure on specific areas of the feet, leading to the formation of calluses. Additionally, poorly cushioned shoes can increase friction, exacerbating the problem.

High-impact activities

Engaging in high-impact activities such as running or jumping can also contribute to the development of callosity. The repeated pounding of the feet against hard surfaces causes friction and pressure, leading to callus formation. Athletes or individuals who participate in such activities regularly are more prone to developing calluses.

Abnormal foot structure

Certain foot structures can predispose individuals to callosity. For example, having prominent bony areas or misaligned bones in the feet can create areas of increased pressure and friction, resulting in callus formation. People with flat feet or high arches may also be more susceptible to developing calluses due to the uneven distribution of weight on their feet.

Aging and thinning of skin

As we age, the skin naturally undergoes changes, including thinning. Thinner skin is more prone to developing calluses as it is less resilient and more susceptible to friction. Moreover, aging can lead to a decrease in the production of natural oils in the skin, causing dryness and making it more prone to callus formation.

Occupational factors

Occupational hazards can contribute to the development of callosity, especially in professions that involve prolonged standing or repetitive movements. People who work in industries like construction, healthcare, or hospitality may be at a higher risk of developing calluses due to the continuous pressure and friction on their feet.

Types of Callosity

There are several types of callosity that can develop on the feet, each characterized by its own unique characteristics and location:

Hard Corns

Hard corns, also known as helomas durums, are concentrated areas of thickened skin that typically form on the tops or sides of the toes or on the soles of the feet. They have a dense core and often appear yellowish or grayish in color. Hard corns can be painful and may cause discomfort while walking or wearing shoes.

Soft Corns

Soft corns, or helomas molles, are similar to hard corns but have a softer, rubbery texture. They are usually found between the toes where there is moisture and friction. Soft corns can be more painful than hard corns due to the constant irritation caused by the moist environment between the toes.

Seed Corns

Seed corns are tiny, discrete calluses that often occur on the soles of the feet. They resemble small, rough spots and can be extremely painful, especially when pressure is applied. Seed corns are typically caused by excessive dryness or friction on the soles of the feet.

Vascular Callosity

Vascular callosity, also known as porokeratosis, is a less common type of callosity that can develop on the feet. It is characterized by a raised border and a central indentation. Vascular callosity is caused by a disorder of the sweat glands, resulting in the buildup of a hard, thick layer of skin.

Risk Factors

While anyone can develop callosity, certain factors can increase the likelihood of its occurrence:


As mentioned earlier, the aging process leads to changes in the skin, including thinning and reduced elasticity. As a result, older individuals are more prone to developing calluses.


Excess weight puts additional pressure on the feet, increasing the risk of callosity. The excess friction and pressure can cause the skin to thicken and harden, leading to callus formation.


People with diabetes often have reduced sensation in their feet due to nerve damage. This can lead to an increased risk of developing calluses, as they may not be aware of excessive pressure or friction.

Occupational hazards

Certain occupations that require prolonged standing or repetitive movements can increase the risk of callosity. Jobs in construction, agriculture, or healthcare, for example, often involve long hours spent on the feet and can contribute to callus formation.

Foot deformities

Individuals with foot deformities, such as bunions or hammer toes, may be more susceptible to developing calluses. These conditions can alter the alignment of the foot, leading to increased pressure and friction on specific areas.

Certain sports and activities

Engaging in activities that place excessive pressure on the feet, such as running or ballet, can increase the risk of developing calluses. The repetitive pounding or friction during these activities can cause the skin to thicken and harden. callosity of foot


While calluses are generally harmless, if left untreated or improperly managed, they can lead to various complications:

Bacterial or fungal infections

When calluses become cracked or open, they provide an entry point for bacteria or fungi to invade the skin. This can lead to infections, causing pain and discomfort.


In some cases, calluses can develop into ulcers, which are open sores that can be difficult to heal. Ulcers are more common in individuals with diabetes or those with poor circulation.

Decreased mobility and balance

Severe calluses can alter the distribution of pressure on the foot, affecting mobility and balance. This can increase the risk of falls and injuries.

Chronic pain

Calluses can cause chronic pain, especially when walking or standing. The thickened skin puts pressure on the underlying tissues, leading to discomfort and soreness.

Poor quality of life

For individuals with frequent pain or discomfort due to calluses, their quality of life may be significantly affected. Daily activities and mobility can be limited, leading to a decreased overall well-being.

Diagnostic Procedures

To diagnose callosity and determine the appropriate treatment, healthcare professionals may perform the following diagnostic procedures:

Physical examination

During a physical examination, the healthcare provider will visually assess the calluses and examine the surrounding skin. They may also check for any underlying foot deformities or other factors contributing to callus formation.

Medical history

Gathering a comprehensive medical history is crucial in identifying any underlying conditions or factors that may be contributing to the development of calluses. This includes information about the patient’s occupation, lifestyle, and any existing medical conditions.


In some cases, a biopsy may be performed to rule out other skin conditions that may resemble calluses. A small sample of the affected skin may be taken and examined under a microscope.

Skin scraping

Skin scraping involves gently scraping off a small sample of the callused skin to examine it for signs of infection or other underlying issues. This helps determine the appropriate course of treatment.


X-rays may be ordered if the healthcare provider suspects that the calluses are caused by underlying bone abnormalities or structural issues. X-rays can provide valuable information about the alignment and structure of the foot.

Preventive Measures

While it may not be possible to completely prevent the occurrence of calluses, there are several preventive measures that can be taken to minimize their development:

Proper footwear

Wearing well-fitting shoes that provide adequate support and cushioning is essential in preventing callosity. Shoes should have enough room for the toes to move comfortably and should not rub against any areas of the foot.

Foot hygiene

Maintaining good foot hygiene is crucial in preventing calluses. Regularly washing and drying the feet, especially between the toes, helps prevent excessive moisture and the development of soft corns.

Moisturizing the skin

Keeping the skin hydrated and moisturized is important in preventing calluses. Applying a moisturizing cream or lotion to the feet regularly can help prevent excessive dryness, which can contribute to callus formation.

Using protective padding

For individuals who are prone to calluses, using protective padding or inserts can help distribute pressure more evenly on the feet. This can help reduce friction and prevent the formation of calluses.

Regular foot inspections

By regularly inspecting the feet, any areas of pressure or friction can be identified early on and appropriate measures can be taken to prevent callus formation. This includes checking for any changes in the skin, such as redness or thickening. callosity of foot

Home Remedies

In addition to preventive measures, there are several home remedies that can help manage calluses:

Soaking the feet

Regularly soaking the feet in warm water can help soften the calluses, making them easier to remove. Adding Epsom salts or essential oils to the water can enhance the soothing effect.

Using a pumice stone

Gently rubbing a pumice stone on the calluses after soaking can help remove the dead skin cells. This should be done with caution to avoid excessive rubbing, which can cause irritation or injury.

Applying moisturizing creams

After soaking and exfoliating, applying a moisturizing cream or lotion can help keep the skin hydrated and prevent further dryness and callus formation.

Wearing shoe inserts

Using over-the-counter shoe inserts or pads can help redistribute pressure on the feet and provide cushioning, reducing the risk of callus development.

Using over-the-counter corn removers

Over-the-counter corn removers, which contain salicylic acid, can help soften and remove calluses. These should be used with caution and according to the instructions provided.

Medical Treatment

For severe or persistent calluses, medical treatment may be necessary. The following treatment options may be recommended by healthcare professionals:


Debridement involves the removal of the thickened, dead skin cells using a scalpel or a special debriding tool. This procedure should only be performed by a trained healthcare professional to avoid complications.

Prescription creams or ointments

In some cases, healthcare providers may prescribe creams or ointments containing medications to soften the calluses and promote their removal. These medications may include salicylic acid, urea, or lactic acid.

Custom orthotics

Custom-made orthotic devices, such as shoe inserts or pads, can help redistribute pressure on the feet and provide cushioning. These are tailored specifically for the individual’s foot structure and can help alleviate pressure on callused areas.


In rare cases, surgical intervention may be required to correct an underlying foot deformity or relieve excessive pressure on certain areas of the feet. This is typically considered when other treatment options have been unsuccessful.

Chemical treatments

Certain chemical treatments, such as cryotherapy or chemical peels, may be used to treat stubborn calluses. These procedures aim to destroy the thickened skin cells, allowing healthy skin to regenerate.

Professional Care

For comprehensive evaluation and management of calluses, it may be necessary to seek professional care from the following healthcare specialists:


A podiatrist is a healthcare professional who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of foot and ankle disorders. They are well-equipped to assess and manage various conditions, including calluses.

Orthopedic surgeon

In cases where underlying foot deformities or structural issues contribute to the development of calluses, an orthopedic surgeon may be consulted. They can provide surgical interventions to correct these issues and prevent further callus formation.


As calluses primarily involve the skin, a dermatologist may be involved in the management of severe or persistent cases. They can provide specialized treatment options and offer guidance on skincare to prevent callus recurrence.


Callosity, or callus, is a common condition that can develop on the feet due to various causes, including friction, pressure, improper footwear, foot structure abnormalities, and aging. While calluses are generally harmless, if left untreated or improperly managed, they can lead to complications such as infections, ulcers, decreased mobility and balance, chronic pain, and a decrease in quality of life. Preventive measures, home remedies, and medical treatments are available to manage calluses, and seeking professional care from healthcare specialists such as podiatrists, orthopedic surgeons, or dermatologists can provide comprehensive evaluation and treatment. By understanding the causes, types, risk factors, and complications associated with callosity, individuals can take proactive steps to prevent and manage this common foot condition. Contact Us for Expert Advice