What are Calluses?

Calluses are an accumulation of dead skin cells that form on the hands and feet in response to pressure or friction. Calluses are also commonly found on the palms of the hands, the soles of the feet, or other areas of the body that are exposed to repeated friction or pressure. Calluses are generally considered a normal adaptation of the body.

What Causes Calluses?

The most common cause of calluses is increased levels of stress or activity that expose the skin to repeated contact. This can include activities that involve gripping hard objects, such as weightlifting or playing sports like tennis or golf. Wearing certain types of shoes, such as high heels or shoes that are too tight, can also lead to calluses. Calluses can also form due to medical conditions, such as bone or joint deformities that put pressure on certain parts of the feet.

Are Calluses Bad?

In general, calluses are harmless and do not cause any medical issues. In some cases, however, calluses can become painful or start to crack. If calluses become too thick, they can also interfere with normal activities. If this happens, there are several ways to reduce the size of calluses, including wearing shoes that fit properly and using moist heat to soften the skin.

How to Prevent and Treat Calluses

The best way to treat and prevent calluses is to reduce the strain or pressure that is causing them in the first place. This means wearing shoes that fit properly and are comfortable, as well as taking breaks from activities that cause friction on the skin.

  • Wear properly fitting shoes.
  • Take frequent breaks during activities that cause friction.
  • Soak feet in warm water to soften any existing calluses.
  • Gently rub calluses with a pumice stone or other exfoliating tool.
  • Apply a moisturizer after exfoliation.
  • Talk to your doctor if calluses become very thick or painful.