A callus is a small patch of hard, dry skin which can be found on your heel, the sole or side of your foot or toes. Most people see a callus as nothing more than a minor annoyance but at Paul S. DeMarco, DPM we know that a callus is an early warning sign of a bigger problem.
Getting Under the Skin
Patients often mistakenly think that a callus is a skin issue, but a callus forms to protect soft tissue deeper in your foot and that means that something inside or outside your foot is causing a problem. Sometimes friction from your shoes may be rubbing on one particular spot on your foot or toe, resulting in an irritation. As the top layer of your skins gets rubbed and raw it may actually die. A hard layer of dry skin begins to form in the spot to protect the softer inner layers from being harmed. Sometimes an internal abnormality, such as an extra long metatarsal bone (the ones that run from the middle of your foot up to the base of your toes) may lead to a shift in weight as you put your foot down so that one area is hitting the ground with an excessive amount of force.
Removing and Preventing Calluses
It’s important for our podiatrist, Dr. Paul S. DeMarco, to examine your foot and determine what’s causing the callus. Left untreated, the callus will most likely grow and eventually may become painful. Sometimes a callus can be an indicator of the beginning of a deformity, such as hammertoe or some other condition. Once the foot doctor has found the source of the callus he can prescribe the right method to correct it. This may be as simple as changing your footwear or perhaps being fitted with a custom orthotic device to reposition your foot.
Removing the callus is fairly simple. In most cases, using a pumice stone to slough off the dry skin after a bath or shower should be sufficient to remove the callus. NOTE: Do not try to use a razor blade or shaver to get rid of the callus. This can lead to injury and infection. Once the callus is gone, apply a rich moisturizer to keep the area hydrated and prevent dry skin and cracking.
If you have a callus or have noticed anything unusual about the skin on your foot, contact our Somers Point office for an appointment by calling: (609) 927-4894.