What Is Calloused Skin?
A callus is an area of thickened and sometimes hardened skin that forms as a response to repeated friction, pressure, or other irritation. Calluses are not usually painful unless subjected to continued pressure or friction, causing the skin to build up to a certain thickness, which may become very uncomfortable. You may also find that footwear does not fit as well when a callus is very thick in an area.
How is Calloused Skin Developed?
Calluses develop because the skin’s defensive response is to thicken when consistent pressure and friction are applied against the skin of the foot. This pressure or friction could be caused by:
Calluses develop because the skin’s defensive response is to thicken when consistent pressure and friction is applied against the skin of the foot. This pressure or friction could be caused by:
- Poor fitting footwear This could be footwear that’s too tight and narrow, causing them to rub against the feet or footwear that’s too big or loose, meaning your foot repeatedly slides against the shoe.
- Excessive pronation of the foot (the extent to which your arch collapses inward when you walk) that creates increased pressure at the front of your feet and toes
- Feet with high arches can experience excessive pressure on the outside of feet
- Poor range of motion and mobility in joints
- Long periods of standing on your feet
- Previous trauma or surgery that has altered the structure of your feet, which may mean excessive pressure is applied to new areas of the foot.
- Conditions where bones are located closer to the skin’s surface (bony prominences) may cause more rubbing and friction e.g. bunions & Tailor’s bunions or rheumatoid arthritis.
- Specific walking and running patterns that may place extra pressure on a specific area of the foot e.g. flat feet.
- Dry skin
Symptoms of Calloused Skin
If you notice any of the below symptoms, a callus may be present:
- The thickened skin is often harder than the surrounding skin
- The thickened skin will be evenly distributed over a specific area
- The area may present as a slightly paled yellow discolouration
- Some pain or discomfort may be present for more severe calluses