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Calluses

Anyone can get calluses on their feet. Walking around barefoot, wearing improper shoes for a specific activity or spending a lot of time on your feet can cause them. While calluses aren’t usually painful, if you don’t have your calluses removed by a board-certified podiatrist, they can become irritated and lead to further foot complications. Learn how to remove calluses properly and how to prevent them from recurring from Dr. Velimir Petkov at Premier Podiatry in Clifton, NJ. Call for an appointment today.

Calluses on your feet are rough patches of thick skin that develop on the soles of your feet due to repeated friction or pressure. The appearance of callused skin is often dry or flaky in texture and grey or yellowish in color. Calluses are less sensitive to touch than bare skin. The skin feels bumpy and coarse. If left untreated, your calluses may eventually lead to cracked heels, a more painful condition.

Both men and women can develop calluses on their feet. Calluses especially affect those who walk or stand continually for long periods of time. Athletes, including joggers and schoolyard basketball players, are particularly at risk as they usually run or play on asphalt that offers the least cushioning support. You can develop calluses even by walking barefoot on hard surfaces.

Should You Be Worried about Calluses?

Calluses are generally common. They don’t usually cause foot pain, toe pain or even heel pain. However, calluses can sometimes become irritated from intense friction. When this occurs, it causes a mild burning sensation that often relates to a diabetic foot.

Your calluses can make walking or putting on your shoes slightly uncomfortable. If you notice your calluses cause any discomfort, visit the foot specialist at Premier Podiatry in Clifton, New Jersey. Dr. Velimir Petkov can ease your discomfort and prevent other serious foot injuries.

What Causes Calluses

Calluses usually form when your body weight isn’t evenly spread between both feet. This leads to an imbalanced gait, where one ball of the foot is put under more pressure than the other. This increase in pressure causes the skin cells to die more quickly, which eventually forms a hard, protective shell-like covering or callus. Other reasons calluses form include:

  • Wearing ill-fitting shoes that are too tight or that don’t support the shape of your feet. Flat feet, for example, require arch support to prevent calluses.
  • High heels can cause calluses, along with other foot problems, such as Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis and even swollen feet. Your Passaic County podiatrist may recommend you wear socks with your shoes as it forms a barrier against the seams of the shoes and your feet.
  • Pre-existing conditions like bunions, hammertoes, and mallet toes can lead to calluses and corns, as well. Most people think of calluses and corns as the same condition, but corns are pea-sized, hard nodules that you usually see on your toes.
  • Heel and toe spurs, abnormal bone growth on your joints, can also cause calluses.


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Diagnosis for the Callus Treatment

Since there are many reasons you can get calluses, your NJ foot doctor needs to ask you about your history of feet problems. Definitely tell Dr. Petkov if you’ve had conditions like arthritis, gout, recent foot and ankle fractures or even fungus toenails.

If you visit your foot doctors in New Jersey right after you notice your calluses or your callused skin isn’t too advanced, your doctor may recommend homecare remedies, such as applying moisturizing lotion daily to soften the calluses. If you’ve had calluses for a long time, your podiatrist may order a digital x-ray to see the extent of your foot problems and recommend additional treatments if necessary.

How to Remove a Callus from Your Feet

Once your podiatrist determines that you need professional callus removal, the first step is to clean and prepare the skin. Then your doctor trims the callus with a scalpel. This method removes the outer rough layer of skin, leaving behind fresh smooth skin. Since this procedure requires a delicate, knowledgeable touch, only a board-certified podiatrist should perform this treatment to avoid complications like bleeding or infection.

Top rated podiatrist New Jersey Dr. Petkov may recommend some “how to remove a callus from your feet” home treatments such as:

  • Soaking your feet in warm water for five to 10 minutes
  • Gently using a pumice stone to smooth away the rough skin
  • Using padding to surround the calluses to curb further aggravation
  • Getting orthotics that fit in your shoes for padding and extra support

Calluses Q & A

Why do I have calluses?

Calluses are areas of thickened skin that can occur anywhere on your body. They form because your fragile skin is trying to protect itself from friction and irritation, typically in weight-bearing areas. This is why calluses tend to develop where your feet rub against the insides of your shoes, like on your heels or on the bottoms of your toes.

You’re also more likely to have calluses if you have a foot deformity, such as a bunion or hammertoe. Many men and women also develop corns in the case of a foot deformity, too.

Corns are similar to calluses, but they form on non-weight-bearing areas, such as across the tops of your toes.

What are the symptoms of a callus?

The telltale sign of a callus is the hard, thickened, flaky skin that develops. Usually, calluses are lighter than your normal skin color, since the skin is dead and needs to slough off. Your callus may be:

  • Rough to the touch
  • Raised or rounded
  • Dull and irritated

In severe cases, a callus can grow painful as irritation and inflammation build up. This can lead to secondary issues, including heel pain, since you’re going to change the way you walk (your gait) to avoid putting pressure on the callus. Dr. Petkov and the team at Premier Podiatry can treat your calluses (or corns) right in the office and educate you on how to prevent further issues.

How are calluses treated?

Before treating your calluses, Dr. Petkov might need to find out why you have them. This can involve gathering X-ray or ultrasound images, or watching you walk. If there’s an underlying issue, such as heel spurs or plantar fasciitis, he can treat that condition, too, so you won’t keep developing calluses.

Once he better understands why you have calluses, he uses a surgical blade to gently shave away the damaged skin. The entire procedure is painless — your callused skin is already dead. If you’re in significant pain, you might also need cortisone injections or anti-inflammatory medications to relieve your discomfort.

Occasionally, Dr. Petkov encourages callus sufferers to get fitted for custom orthotics, especially if calluses keep coming back. Orthotic inserts can prevent future rubbing and irritation and decrease your risk of more callus issues.

When you’re ready to get rid of your calluses, contact Premier Podiatry in Clifton, NJ. Make an appointment to consult with Dr. Velimir Petkov today.

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