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What are Calluses? Diagnosis, Treatment and Pain Relief

Calluses are an accumulation of skin cells that are harder or thicker than normal skin. Callused areas appear on the foot at high pressured, or friction, sites. Calluses are commonly found on the heels, the ball of the foot or on the side of the big toe.

Cause

Calluses are formed by the body in areas that are under high pressure or frictional forces. This response is a protective mechanism to prevent trauma to the skin and underlying tissue. Ill- fitting and non supportive footwear can place unwanted pressure on areas of the feet.  Biomechanical abnormalities of the feet and limbs may contribute to the formation of callused areas on the feet. Certain foot or toe deformities can result in increased pressure on areas causing callus formation.

Symptoms

  • Hard, thickened and dry skin on an area of the foot or toes.
  • Pain or discomfort can be present when pressure is put on the callused area.
  • Callused skin can have a yellow discolouration.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis of calluses can be made by your health practitioner and is based on the following:

  • Clinical examination. This includes visual assessment of your feet.
  • Application of pressure to the area to identify any pain or discomfort.
  • Footwear Assessment. This will determine if your footwear is contributing to the calluses.
  • Assessment of biomechanical abnormalities which could be causing areas of high pressure on your feet.

Treatment

  • Orthotics: With the help of your practitioner, treating poor biomechanics with the use of an Interpod Orthotic will assist in realigning the foot, which will distribute the pressure evenly across the whole surface of the foot. The orthotic device will also provide shock absorption to reduce pressure on the bottom of the feet.
  • Footwear: A well fitting shoe that provides adequate support and shock absorption.
  • Padding: Your practitioner may apply padding to your shoes to reduce pressure from callused areas.
  • Removal of hard skin: Your practitioner may remove the callused skin that is causing discomfort.

Prevention

Orthotics: Continue to wear your Interpod orthotics for work and physical activity.

Footwear: Continue to wear supportive footwear for work and physical activity. Avoid wearing narrow, or ill-fitting footwear.

Moisturise: Use a moisturising cream regularly to keep skin well hydrated.

References

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