Walking Comfortably: Understanding and Managing Calluses

Walking Comfortably: Understanding and Managing CallusesWe believe that every step should be a comfortable one. However, calluses can often make walking painful and affect our overall foot health. In today’s discussion, we’ll explore what calluses are, why they form, and how to effectively manage them to keep your feet feeling their best.

Understanding Calluses:

Calluses are areas of thickened, hardened skin that develop in response to repeated friction or pressure. They commonly form on the soles of the feet, particularly under the heels or balls of the feet, as well as on the sides of the toes. While calluses themselves are not usually harmful, they can cause discomfort and may lead to other foot issues if left untreated.

Causes of Calluses:

Several factors contribute to the formation of calluses, including:

  • Ill-fitting Footwear: Shoes that are too tight or have inadequate cushioning can create friction and pressure points on the feet, leading to callus formation.
  • High-Impact Activities: Activities that involve prolonged standing, walking, or running can increase the likelihood of developing calluses, especially if proper footwear is not worn.
  • Foot Structure: Certain foot abnormalities, such as high arches or prominent bony areas, can predispose individuals to calluses.
  • Barefoot Walking: Walking barefoot, particularly on hard surfaces, can cause friction and thickening of the skin, resulting in callus formation.

Managing Calluses:

While calluses can be bothersome, they are generally easy to manage with the following tips:

  • Proper Footwear: Wear shoes that fit well and provide adequate cushioning and support. Avoid shoes with narrow toe boxes or high heels that can increase pressure on the feet.
  • Use of Padding: Apply cushioning pads or moleskin to areas of friction to reduce pressure and protect sensitive areas from further irritation.
  • Regular Exfoliation: Gently exfoliate callused areas with a pumice stone or foot file to remove dead skin and smooth rough patches. Do this after bathing when the skin is soft.
  • Moisturize: Keep the skin hydrated by applying a moisturizing cream or lotion regularly, especially after exfoliation. This helps prevent excessive dryness and cracking.
  • Orthotic Inserts: Consider using orthotic inserts or custom-made shoe inserts to redistribute pressure and provide additional support to the feet.
  • Professional Treatment: In severe cases or if calluses are causing significant discomfort, consult a podiatrist or foot specialist for professional treatment options. This may include trimming thickened skin or prescribing specialized padding or orthotics.

Preventing Calluses:

Prevention is key to avoiding calluses in the first place. Here are some preventive measures to consider:

  • Choose shoes that fit properly and offer adequate support and cushioning.
  • Gradually increase the duration and intensity of physical activities to allow your feet to adapt.
  • Keep your feet clean and dry, and wear moisture-wicking socks to reduce friction.
  • Practice good foot hygiene and regularly inspect your feet for any signs of irritation or injury.


At Kenrick J. Dennis , DPM ​, we understand the importance of maintaining healthy and comfortable feet. By understanding the causes of calluses and implementing proactive management strategies, you can enjoy greater foot health and mobility. If you’re experiencing persistent discomfort or have concerns about calluses, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team for personalized advice and support. Let’s walk together towards a future where every step is a pain-free one.

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Houston, TX 77065

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