What is a toe callus?

A toe callus is an area of ​​thickened skin on the toe. Corns on the toes form in response to friction and pressure, and may be accompanied by corns, a closely related formation of thickened skin. There are several options available to treat a toe callus if it becomes uncomfortable or unsightly; Podiatrists would like to point out, for the record, that cutting calluses is not recommended.

There are several ways a foot callus can form. One of the most common is wearing shoes that are not well-fitting. Shoes that are too tight, put stress on an area of ​​the foot, or don't facilitate easy walking can cause a toe callus to develop. Gait abnormalities and frequent walking, biking, rock climbing, or other athletic activities can also promote the development of a toe callus.

Once a callus begins to form, it needs to be addressed as quickly as possible, before more layers of thickened skin develop. Soaking your foot in hot salt water or hot water and baking soda followed by a pumice stone scrub can help remove thickened skin without breaking the skin or damaging your foot. Many drugstores have pumice stones that can be used to scrub your feet, and you can also buy them at stores that carry beauty supplies. An emery board or foot file can also be used.

Certain hand creams can also help with foot calluses, as can foot creams. Creams designed to soften hard skin will help break down the callus. One of the best ways to use such creams is to apply the cream before bed and put on a pair of socks over your feet to give the cream enough time to work.

There are also commercial finger callus products, such as medicated pads and wipes. These are not generally recommended as they can be hard on the skin. Likewise, corn and callus pads for shoes can make pressure worse, rather than better. Instead, a custom sole insert can be used to safely relieve and redistribute pressure.

If a callus recurs, it may be a good idea to meet with a podiatrist. The doctor can assess the foot, talk to the patient about habits, and check the patient's shoes. With this information, a recommendation can be made for some lifestyle recommendations that will prevent calluses from forming on the fingers. For example, the patient may be able to resolve the problem by reselling the shoes or buying new shoes.

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