Caring for Calluses: When to Treat Them at Home and When to See a Podiatrist

What happens when someone irritates the heck out of you? You might ignore them – in other words, put up a protective wall so that person can’t get under your skin. Oddly enough, that’s exactly what your skin does when it creates a callus!  – although the irritation doesn’t come from a person, of course. It comes from constant pressure.

What’s irritating your skin?

Pressure from tight shoes or socks, socks with seams that rub against your skin, and high heels are some reasons why your feet create the protective walls of skin called calluses. Layers of skin build up until the affected area becomes hard. You can get calluses on your heels, soles, and on the side of your big toe. (A callus on top of your toe is called a corn.)

Pressure can also originate inside your foot. For example, a misplaced bone or bone spur may put pressure on the bottom of your foot, causing a plantar callus to build up with every step you take.

How to care for a callus at home

You can treat a callus at home by soaking your foot and gently rubbing the callus with a pumice stone – there’s no need to rub vigorously. The mild friction of the stone against the callus encourages dead skin to slowly peel away. Apply a thick moisturizing cream to help soften the skin. Never try to use a scalpel or razor to cut away a callus!

When to consult a podiatrist

There are certain times when you should seek our podiatrists’ help:

  • the callus keeps coming back
  • the callus is painful, looks inflamed, or feels warm
  • you see signs of infection such as pus or drainage
  • you have diabetes, PAD, or circulation problems

Our experienced podiatric surgeons, Dr. Craig B. Frey, Dr. Megan L. Oltmann, and Dr. Jim Swienconek, can prescribe custom orthotics to ease pressure, relieve pain with cortisone injections, and offer surgery to correct underlying structural issues that cause calluses to form. Call Foot & Ankle Associates of Cleveland in Solon, Ohio at (440) 903-1041 or contact us online to schedule a consultation. We offer a modern office with the latest technology for podiatric patients in Portage, Geauga, Cuyahoga, and Summit Counties, proudly serving our patients from Solon, Aurora, Bedford, Chagrin Falls, Hudson, Macedonia, and Twinsburg.