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What is a Callus?
A callus is an area of hard skin which can span quite a large area of the foot. Callus can be found anywhere where there is pressure including the top of the toes, around the heels or where the foot touches the floor. These can be very painful and can become deep and split if not treated, but not all callus needs to be treated.
How can I help myself?
You can gently file your calluses with a foot file. These are available at most pharmacies. We recommend filing when the skin is dry to avoid causing too much damage to your skin.
After filing your feet bathe them and wash them well. Then apply a good moistuiser or emollient cream that contains urea. Urea acts to soften the skin. There are plenty of foot specific creams and heel balms on the market. If you are unsure which to use, you should speak to a podiatrist or a pharmacist about these.
When to see a Podiatrist?
If after a week or two of self care you are not seeing an improvement or if your callus is splitting (fissuring) or painful, you should see a Podiatrist. You should also see a podiatrist or GP or nurse ASAP if there is any risk or suspicion of infection or ulceration.
Callus won’t go away unless you have it treated and then try to take the cause of the problem away and as they are response to pressure, they often keep coming back anyway.
They are removed using a gentle scalpel technique called debridement. Your podiatrist may want to give you an orthotic device to put in your shoe (or alter your footwear) to try to prevent the callus from coming back. They can also show you how to care for your own callus to try and manage it.