What is a Plantar Callus
A plantar callus on the bottom of the foot or the ball of the foot is a painful thickened and hardened area of skin occurring between your heel and your toes. They can be painful and make activities such as walking difficult or uncomfortable. The skin forming on the callus can be yellowish or greyish in appearance and be hard, dry and flaky.
A callus is formed as a result of too much pressure being placed on one area of the foot leading to an abnormal weight distribution. The foot creates a hardened piece of skin as a defence mechanism. This hardened piece of skin is called a plantar callus.
Possible Causes of a Plantar Callus
Plantar calluses are caused by repeated friction or pressure on that area. Possible causes can include bone deformities, poorly fitting shoes or socks that don’t distribute your weight evenly.
Medical conditions can also cause plantar calluses. These include:
- Flat feet
- Hallux valgus of the big toe
- Poorly fitted shoes or socks
- Excessive walking or running
- Previous fracture of the foot leading to an abnormal weight distribution
How to Prevent a Plantar Callus
You can prevent a plantar callus by ensuring you distribute the weight more evenly by wearing softer shoes with a cushioned interior.
You could also cushion your foot with a soft, comfortable foam. I have found Dr. Scholl’s Round Callus Cushions to be excellent at preventing a callus or preventing one from getting worse. They ease painful shoe pressure and friction and provide a self-stick adhesive that fits comfortably around your foot cushioning it from pressure.
Other preventative measures can include:
- special rehydration creams for thickened skin
- customised soft padding or foam insoles
Plantar callus treatment
Treatment may include a podiatrist cutting away some of the thickened skin using a scalpel to relieve pressure on the tissue underneath. You should not try and cut the callus yourself as it can become infected and more sore. If you must try to remove the foot callus yourself you should purchase a special kit such as the E-Z Callus Peel Foot Callus Remover Kit which has very positive reviews.
Other treatment can include applying salicylic acid to the callus to help soften the dead skin. This can be applied using a patch or applied topically. These patches or creams need to be reapplied daily after removing dead skin using a pumice stone or nail file.
If the bone structure is causing the problem a doctor may need to realign the bones in the feet.
Other Treatments can include:
- Special rehydration creams for thickened skin
- Silicone wedges that redistribute pressure
- Customized soft padding or foam insoles