Our team of specialists and staff believe that informed patients are better equipped to make decisions regarding their health and well being. For your personal use, we have created an extensive patient library covering an array of educational topics. Browse through these diagnoses and treatments to learn more about topics of interest to you. Or, for a more comprehensive search of our entire Web site, enter your term(s) in the search bar provided.

As always, you can contact our office to answer any questions or concerns.


 


 

What is a Podiatrist?

When To Call a Doctor

Foot Anatomy

Foot Problems

General Statistics

Achilles Problems

Achilles Tendonitis |Peroneal Tendon Dislocation/Dysfunction | Xanthomas of the Achilles Tendon

Ankle Problems

Ankle SprainChronic Lateral Ankle Pain | Osteochondritis

Arch and Ball Problems

CapsulitisFlat Feet Metatarsalgia (foot pain in ball)Plantar Fibromas (lumps in the arch of the foot) | Sesamoiditis

Common Foot Injuries

Ankle Sprain Injuries | Broken Ankle | Fractures | Osteochondritis (stiff ankle)Osteochondromas |Shin Splints | Sports Injuries

Deformities

Amniotic Band Syndrome | Bunions | Claw ToeClubfootDysplasia (Epiphysealis Hemimelica) | Enchondroma | Flat FeetGordon Syndrome | Haglund's Deformity | Hallux Limitus (Stiff Big Toe Joint)Hallux Rigidus (Stiff Big Toe) | Hallux VarusHammertoesJackson-Weiss SyndromeMallet ToesMetatarsalgia |Osteomyelitis (Bone Infections)Overlapping or Underlapping ToesPeroneal Tendon Dislocation/DysfunctionPosterior Tibial Tendon DysfunctionSesamoiditisSpurs | Tarsal Coalition

Diabetes and Your Feet

Diseases of the Foot

Arthritis | Cancer | Charcot Foot | Freiberg's Disease | Gout | Kaposi's Sarcoma | Kohler's Disease | Maffucci's SyndromeOllier's DiseaseRaynaud's Disease | Seiver's Disease

Fungus Problems

Common Fungal Problems | Athlete's Foot (Tinea Pedis) | Fungal Nails

Heel Problems

Haglund's Deformity | Heel Callus | Heel Fissures | Plantar Fasciitis (heel spur)

Nail Problems

Black Toenails | Ingrown Toenails| Nail Fungus

Skin Problems

Allergies | Athlete's Foot (tinea pedis) | Blisters| Burning Feet | Calluses | Corns | Cysts | Frostbite | Fungus | Gangrene | Lesions | Psoriasis | Smelly Feet and Foot Odor | Swelling | Ulcers | Warts

Toe Problems

Bunions | Claw Toe | Digital Deformity | Hallux Limitus (stiff big toe joint)Hallux Rigidis (rigid big toe)Hallux Varus | Hammertoes | Intoeing | Overlapping, Underlapping Toes | Subungal Exotosis (bone spur under toenail) | Turf Toe

Vascular/Nerve Problems

Acrocyanosis | Alcoholic Neuropathy | Chilblains (cold feet) | Erythromelalgia | Ischemic Foot | Neuroma | Spasms | Venous Stasis

 

 

Overview of Foot and Ankle Problems

Basic Foot Care Guidelines

Medical Care

Diagnostic Procedures

Computed Tomography | MRI | Ultrasound | X-Rays

Orthotics

Pain Management

General Information and Tips | Pain Management for Specific Conditions

Surgical Procedures

General Information | Achilles Surgery | Ankle Surgery | Arthritis Surgery | Arthroscopy | Bunion Surgery | Cyst Removal | Flatfoot Correction | Hammertoe Surgery | Heel Surgery | Metatarsal Surgery | Nerve Surgery (Neuroma) | Toe Surgery

Therapies

Athlete's Foot Treatment | Cryotherapy | Extracorporeal Shock Wave | Iontophoresis | Physical Therapy | Neurolysis

Fitness and Your Feet

General Information About FitnessAerobics and Your Feet | Exercise Those Toes! | Aerobics | Fitness And Your Feet | Stretching | Walking and Your Feet | Feet | Work Footwear

Sports and Your Feet

Baseball | Basketball | Cycling | Golf | Jogging and Running | Tennis

Foot Care

Basic Foot Care Guidelines | Athletic Foot Care | Blisters | Children's FeetCorns and Calluses |Diabetic Foot CareExercise Those Toes! | Foot Care For Seniors | Foot Self-Exam | Pedicures | Your Feet at Work | Bunion Prevention | Burning Feet | Ingrown Nails | Nutrition For Your Feet

Women's Feet

High Heels | Stockings? | Pregnancy | Women Over 65

Foot Odor and Smelly Feet

Prevention | Treating Foot Odor

Shoes

Anatomy of a ShoeAthletic Shoe GuidelinesChildren's Shoes | Corrective and Prescription Shoes | What to Look FoWhat To Look For| Getting a Proper Fit | Men's Shoes | Women's Shoes | Your Footprint | Wear Patterns

Links

 

 

 


A callus, also known as hyperkeratosis, is an area of hard, thickened skin that can occur across the ball of the foot, on the heel, or on the outer side of the big toe. Although many consider them a skin problem, they are indicative of a problem with the bone.

Calluses form from repeated friction and pressure, as the shoe (or ground) rubs against a bony prominence (bone spur) on the toe or foot. The skin thickens in response to this pressure. Small amounts of friction or pressure over long periods of time cause a corn or callus. A great deal of friction or pressure over shorter periods of time can cause blisters or open sores. Calluses typically develop under a metatarsal head (the long bone that forms the ball of the foot). Calluses have painful nerves and bursal sacs (fluid-filled balloons that act as shock absorbers) beneath them, causing symptoms ranging from sharp, shooting pain to dull, aching soreness.

Calluses can be treated with over-the-counter callus removers, which use strong acids to peel this excess skin away after repeated application. Be careful using these products as they can cause chemical burns when misapplied or used in excess. Alternatively, treat calluses as follows: Begin by soaking the foot or feet in warm soapy water and gently rubbing away any dead skin that loosens. Next, use a pumice stone or emery board to file away the thickened skin. Apply a good moisturizer to the hardened areas to keep them softer and relieve pain. Nonmedicated corn pads or moleskin (a thin fuzzy sheet of fabric with an adhesive back) are available in stores and can relieve pain caused by calluses. However, use caution removing pads or moleskins to avoid tearing the skin.

If you need assistance relieving calluses, please contact our office. We can trim and apply comfortable padding to the painful areas. In more severe cases, we may prescribe medication to relieve inflammation, or inject cortisone into the underlying bursal sac to rapidly reduce pain and swelling.

A plantar callus forms on the bottom of the heel over time where one metatarsal bone is longer or lower than the others. This structure causes the one metatarsal to hit the ground first and with more force than it is equipped to handle. As a result, the skin under this bone thickens. In most cases, plantar calluses can be treated without surgery. In some recurring cases, however, a surgical procedure, called an osteotomy, is performed to relieve the pressure on the bone.

A condition called Intractable Plantar Keratosis (IPK) is a deep callus directly under the ball of the foot. IPK is caused by a "dropped metatarsal," which happens when the metatarsal head drops to a lower level than the surrounding metatarsals and protrudes from the bottom of the foot. This results in more pressure being applied in this area and causes a thick callus to form. A dropped metatarsal can either be a congenital abnormality, a result of a metatarsal fracture, or a structural change that may have occurred over time.

You can prevent calluses by:

  • Switching to better-fitting shoes or using an orthotic device to correct an underlying cause.
  • Buying socks with double-thick toes and heels or nylon hose with woven cotton soles on the bottom of the foot.