Calluses are generally not harmful unless they become ulcerated, but can be painful and cracked when very thick.
Calluses are flat, thickened, and hardened skin that develop over areas that endure constant friction and pressure. Known to form on the bottom of the feet, they can also form on the tops the sides, and the heels—especially when the insides of shoes rub against the feet, or when a person has prominent bones along the joints from arthritis. Unlike corns, calluses are usually flat and do not have a core that points inward. A person with diabetes has to be very careful as they may not have normal sensation on the bottom of their feet and can develop ulcerations in their calluses if they are not examining their feet regularly.
To combat repeated friction and injury, the skin protects itself from blistering by producing a very thick top layer of skin, which is known as a callus.
The most important preventative move is to relieve the recurring pressure on the affected skin; for example, by wearing well-fitted shoes, or gloves when working with your hands.
- Topical creams and bandages that contain urea, salicylic acid, or lactic acid may make the callus smoother and thinner.
- The surface of cracked calluses can be sealed with superglue or liquid bandage to prevent against infection and irritation.
- Should the callus become ulcerated or infected, a doctor may performed wound care and prescribe topical or oral antibiotics
- Paring down the surface of the callus using sandpaper, a corn filer, or a pumice stone after soaking the area for 10 minutes in warm water
- Surgically paring down the corn using a scalpel or electric surgical tools (a procedure performed by a healthcare professional)
- A health care professional may order an xray if there is any concern for underlying bone abnormalities