Calluses are thick areas of skin that develop on the hands and feet in response to repeated friction or pressure. These thick pads of skin are the body’s defense against potential injury, as the area of the hands or feet that experience abnormal friction builds up to protect against blisters and wearing down of normal skin. 

When abnormal friction or pressure is applied too quickly or for a long period, the foot or hand will develop a blister. If the friction or pressure continues, the blister will break, exposing raw skin underneath. This allows an opportunity for infection to enter the body through broken skin. 

The body recognizes when higher than normal pressure or friction becomes somewhat regular and begins to thicken the skin in that area to prevent blisters from forming. We refer to these thickened pads of skin as calluses. 

Professions or activities that commonly lead to calluses:

  • Construction Workers
  • Farmers
  • Oilfield Workers
  • Sports Professionals
  • Rock Climbers
  • Hiking
  • Weight Training
  • Dancing
  • Wearing Heels
  • Bowling

Any activity that causes repeated friction on a specific area of the hand or foot can result in a callus. While calluses can be unsightly, they are not usually painful or dangerous. Calluses can usually be treated or gotten rid of by discontinuing the activity that caused the callus. For calluses on the feet, sometimes a change of shoe choice can help alleviate the development of calluses.

Calluses on Feet

Calluses on the feet are caused by repeated pressure or friction, either from an occupation or activity. Shoes that are too tight or don’t fit well can also cause abnormal pressure or friction and promote the growth of calluses. 

Calluses on the feet are the body’s way of protecting the skin from additional damage from continued friction. Without calluses, blisters would be much more common. Blisters are painful and often burst, leaving raw skin open to infection. 

Calluses on the foot are not generally dangerous or painful, though the placement of the calluses may result in pain, over time. As a foot callus grows, it can result in additional pressure being placed on the bones or pad of the foot that lies under the callus. This added pressure can be uncomfortable, or even painful, if the callus grows too large.

A common place for calluses of the foot to form is on the bottom of the foot, the balls of the feet, and on the toes. These calluses are often caused by wearing shoes that are too tight. 

Sometimes calluses need to be removed or reduced in size to relieve pressure on other parts of the foot. This should be done with great care, as reducing the size too quickly or too much can result in additional damage to the foot or cause blisters to appear. 

Calluses on Toes

Calluses on toes can be more painful than on other parts of the body and even more likely to be painful than other calluses on of the foot. The callus develops as the body’s response to abnormal friction or pressure, but the existence of calluses on the toes can cause increased pressure on other areas of the toes. 


Corns are a particular type of callus that develops on the feet and toes. Corns most commonly appear on the toes and top of the foot, where the skin is thin and shiny. Corns are often caused by poorly fitting shoes. Corns can be hard and dry or soft and mushy, depending on the area where they form. 

Seed corns form on the bottom of the foot as a result of blocked sweat glands.

Plantar Callus

Plantar calluses are thickened areas of skin that form on the bottom of the feet. Plantar calluses are very common and form along the plantar fascia, the thick band of tissues that connects your heel to the ball of your foot. Plantar calluses can be uncomfortable and even painful but are not dangerous to your health unless you suffer from diabetes or have other conditions present at the same time. 

Plantar calluses can be quite large when compared to other calluses. They can cover the span of the heel or the entire ball of the foot. The skin making up the plantar callus is generally dry and can be flaky. Plantar calluses may cause pain when pressure is applied, as they put additional pressure on the areas beneath the callus. 

If plantar calluses are causing pain and discomfort, they should be removed or reduced. A professional evaluation of your plantar calluses can help determine the extent of the callus, the proper course of action, and rule out any co-existing conditions or complications. 

Dr. Kleis is an expert in foot care, including the care of calluses on the feet and toes. His 25 years of podiatric experience qualifies him as a leading provider in his field. Dr. Kleis will perform a thorough examination of your feet and calluses and prescribe a course of treatment. For an evaluation of your plantar calluses, call Dr. Kleis at (714) 760-4944.

Calluses on the Bottom of Feet

Calluses on the bottom of the foot are generally called a plantar callus. These calluses develop as the body’s defense against abnormal pressure or friction. This pressure or friction may be the result of poorly fitting shoes or due to specific activities. 

Calluses on the bottom of the foot can often be painful when they grow too large, as they begin to place additional pressure on the tissue and ligaments located underneath. If the calluses on the bottom of the foot become painful, they may require treatment or reduction. 

Dr. Kleis is an expert in treating all conditions of the foot, including calluses. He has a variety of treatment options for treating calluses and reducing the discomfort they cause. For an evaluation of calluses on the bottom of your foot, schedule a consultation with Dr. Kleis today by calling (714) 760-4944 or book an appointment online

Painful Callus on Foot

Calluses develop as the body’s defense against abnormal friction and pressure usually brought on by specific activities or poorly fitting shoes. These thickened pads of skin develop to protect the tender skin underneath from breaking or developing blisters. Without calluses, blisters would form which can burst and leave raw skin open for infection. Calluses protect vulnerable areas from having this happen.

However, sometimes calluses can be painful, especially when the buildup of the callus becomes large enough to place new, additional pressure on the tissues underneath. When calluses become painful, they may need treatment to reduce pain and discomfort. 

Dr. Kleis can treat painful calluses on the bottom of the foot, to restore you to maximum comfort and foot health. For an evaluation of your painful foot calluses, call Dr. Kleis to schedule an appointment today. (714) 760-4944.

Callus Treatment

Most calluses will go away on their own if the source of pressure or friction is removed. If a specific sport or activity is causing the callus to form and can be avoided, the callus will reduce in size or go away completely, though this can take time.

Calluses can be safely treated at home, provided there are no complicating symptoms such as bleeding or infection present. Occasionally, calluses will require professional intervention to completely resolve. 

For professional callus treatment, schedule a consultation with Dr. Kleis by calling (714) 760-4944.

Treating Calluses on Feet

The American Academy of Dermatology offers the following treatment recommendations for treating calluses on the feet at home:

  • Soak the corn or callus in warm water – Do this for about five to ten minutes, or until the skin softens.
  • File the corn or callus with a pumice stone - First, dip the pumice stone in warm water, then use the stone to gently file the corn or callus. Use circular motions to remove dead skin. 
  • Be careful not to remove too much skin - Doing so could cause bleeding and infection.
  • Apply moisturizing lotion or cream to the area daily - Look for a moisturizing lotion or cream with salicylic acid, ammonium lactate, or urea. These ingredients will help gradually soften hard corns and calluses.
  • Use padding – To protect calluses from further irritation during activity, cut a piece of moleskin, available at your local drugstore, into two half-moon shapes and place around the callus. To prevent a corn from making contact with your shoe, surround the corn with donut-shaped adhesive pads, also available at the drugstore. 
  • Wear shoes that fit properly – A common cause of corns is a shoe that isn’t the right shape for your foot. To get the right fit, shop for shoes at the end of the day, when your feet may be slightly swollen. Also, ask a clerk to measure your foot and choose shoes that aren’t too loose or tight.
  • Keep your toenails trimmed – Toenails that are too long can force the toes to push up against your shoe, causing a corn to form over time. To remove this pressure, keep your toenails trimmed.

If you aren’t sure what’s causing your corns or calluses on your feet, or if you also have diabetes, you should seek the help of a qualified medical professional. Dr. Kleis has 25 years of experience helping diabetic patients and the general public manage their foot health. He can prescribe a course of treatment to address the corns and calluses on your foot. For a consultation, call (714) 760-4944 today!



Call us at 714-760-4944 or fill out the contact form above with your info.

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