A callus, or callosity, is an extended area of thickened skin, and occurs on areas of excessive pressure. Most calluses are symptoms of an underlying problem such as a bony deformity, a particular style of walking, or inappropriate footwear.
What is a callus?
When weight-bearing our body weight is typically carried on the heel and the ball of the foot. The skin is thicker in these areas, with additional padding between the skin and the bones to help withstand the pressure.
Some people have a natural tendency to form callus because of their skin type. Elderly people have less fatty tissue in their skin and this can lead to callus forming.
If the callus is painful, a Podiatrist will be able to advise you as to why this has occurred and, where possible, how to prevent it happening again. The Podiatrist can also remove hard skin, relieve pain, and redistribute pressure with soft padding, strapping, or corrective appliances which fit easily into your shoes. The skin should then return to its normal state.
The elderly can benefit from padding to the ball of the foot, to compensate for any loss of natural padding. Emollient creams delay callus building up, and help improve the skin’s natural elasticity.