What Are Calluses?

Like corns, a callus happens when there’s a buildup of hard, dead skin over an area of pressure or a place where your foot is bony.

Image of bottom of foot indicating a  callus on foot. 

Calluses may be painful or merely unsightly, but you know you have one when you notice a large area of thickened skin, especially on the heel, ball of foot, or sides of the foot.

What Causes Calluses?

Your outer layer of skin has special skin cells called keratinocytes, which produce calluses. It’s your body’s way of helping to lessen friction or pressure – often on the heel, ball of foot, and the sides of your feet. The friction or pressure could be from your shoes, sports, daily activity or merely from a unique characteristic in the way you walk.

How to Prevent & Get Rid of Calluses?

Unfortunately, it can be more of a challenge to remove a callus than it was to get it in the first place. You may not be able to identify the exact cause because there may be more than one. Sometimes not wearing the shoes you think causes calluses just isn’t enough. There are, however, some things you can try:

  • Try one of Dr. Scholl’s® products for treating calluses
  • Wear properly fitted shoes
  • Rotate your shoe type on a daily basis
  • Take pressure off your callus and it may go away

Not a medical diagnosis. For information purposes only. If you have diabetes, poor blood circulation, or fragile skin, or symptoms are severe or persist, consult your podiatrist or physician before using products.