Plantar Callus Formation On Foot

Plantar Callus Formation On Foot: A callus is a thickening of the skin on the bottom of the foot, It is easy to dissolve the callus, read on!


What Is A Plantar Callus Formation ?

  • A callus is a thickened area of the skin.
  • Callus formation is as a result of repeated irritation, friction & pressure.
  • This is essentially rubbing or sliding within your shoe.
  • It is more likely in weight bearing areas such as the heel, toe or the ball of the foot.
Plantar Callus Formation On Foot
A calluse is a wide, thick and rough part of the skin. It develops from friction and irritation over the years. This is different from a corn on the left which is deep and not wide.


Where do Plantar Callus Formation develop?

  • Plantar callus.
Plantar Callus Formation On Foot
A plantar callus can form on the toes, the ball of the foot and the heels most commonly.



  • Ball of foot callus.
Ball of foot callus
This ball of foot callus is actually a wart! You can tell the difference because the wart will have blood vessels visible near the surface.
  • Callus on heel.
Callus on heel
A callus on the heel could need more moisturizing. Dry cracked heels are very common and need to be softened.
  • Big toe callus.
Big toe callus
A big toe callus is usually due to decreased motion in the big toe joint. This can be a sign of hallux limitus or hallux rigidus.
  • Toe callus.
Toe callus
A toe callus is very common when there is a hammer toe deformity. The top of the toes push up against the shoe. Consider getting a larger shoe in the front.
  • Callus on finger.
Callus on finger
A callus on the finger can form just as easily as a plantar callus due to irritation & friction.
  • Callus on hand.


Plantar Callus Formation On Foot
Calluses are also very common on the fingers and palm. These joints are the equivalent of the ball of the foot in the foot.


What Causes Plantar Callus Formation?

Friction and pressure on a region over a long period of time is the most common cause.

  • Calluses on the hand and fingers are very common in overuse of the hands.
  • Plantar calluses on the ball of the foot and the heel are the most common.
  • This can be a bony callus, where a bone prominence causes abnormal pressure.
  • With a bony callus it is possible to develop a blister instead since the friction is too fast to heal.
  • Blisters and calluses are essential caused the same way, but a blister is too much over too fast a time.


Plantar Callus Formation On Foot
Abnormalities in foot biomechanics are the number one cause of plantar callus formation on the foot. Correcting the biomechanics is the key to long term callus prevention.


Physiologic Cause Of Plantar Callus Formation:

  • A callus is known as a hyperkeratosis.
  • This means excess keratinocytes are stimulated to form on the surface of the skin due to pressure.
  • Chemical and mechanical irritation causes extensive cross-linking.
  • This makes the calluses very thick and sturdy.
Ball Of Foot Callus
Increased pressure and irritation causes a buildup of thick skin at the those sites. Especially on the ball of the foot and heel.


Ball Of Foot Bone Callus:

Ball Of Foot Bone Callus
This callus on the ball of the foot is caused due to a long second metatarsal. This is called metatarsalgia & will also cause forefoot pain.
  • A bone deformity is extremely common in causing a callus.
  • This is especially true in the ball of the foot.
  • A long 2nd metatarsal is a frequent cause of this type of callus.
  • This may be due to a condition known as metatarsalgia.
  • Metatarsalgia is due to irregular stress or pressure on the ball of your foot.


Plantar Callus Vs Foot Corn:

A corn is a thick pebble like thickening of keratin or hard skin.

Plantar Callus Vs Foot Corn
A foot corn is much more deep and pinpoint than a ball of foot callus. The ball of foot callus is much wider, but not as deep.
  • It is much more pin-point then a callus.
  • This tip can dig in and really cause severe pain in the foot!
  • A callus is usually more soft, whereas a corn is more hard.
  • Although there can be soft corns between the toes.
  • A callus is very diffuse but not deep, a corn is more deep and less wide.
  • Corns are also very common on plantar heel, big toe, foot and palm.


Hard Callus Or Soft Callus?

  • A hard callus is usually just due to more dry tissue.
  • If your feet are extremely dry consider foot fungus.
  • The goal is to first make it a soft callus.
  • This soft callus will then allow easier removal of the foot callus.


Is It A Plantar Wart Or Callus?

Wart Or Callus
Wart Or Callus? A wart will always have little pinpoint blood vessels at the surface, a callus will not have this taking place!
A wart is usually difficult to differentiate from a callus:
  • But there is one major difference.
  • The wart will always have little red spots within it.
  • This means that the blood vessels are at the surface of the tissue.
  • A callus is usually always clear with no little red dots.
  • Warts are also very common on plantar heel, big toe, foot and palm.


Blister Under Callus:

A blister is caused exactly the same as a callus, but it happens to fast to heal!

Blister Under Callus
If you have a blister under your callus, make sure to rule out possible infection!
  •  Blisters are very dangerous.
  • If you have one under your callus or on your foot, consider antibiotics.
  • If there is redness warmth or streaking, get to your podiatrist or ER immediately.
Plantar Callus Foot Home Prevention:
  • Use a Brannock device to measure your proper shoe size.
  • Avoid shoe gear pressing the fourth and fifth toes together.
  • Gel foot pads between the toes.
  • Foam or moleskin pads over the places where corns form- formed like a donut placed over the corn.
  • Moisturize your skin with any moisturizing lotions available.
  • Thin the thickened skin – See next section.


Treatment of Skin Calluses with Salicylic Acid:
  • Salicylic acid is usually the chief component for callus treatment – It is a “keratolytic” that breaks down the protein keratin that makes up corns & calluses.
  • These products are usually gentle and safe for most people if used as indicated:
  • They come in applicators, drops, pads & plasters.
  • They turn the skin white and allow you to trim or peel away dead tissue, making the corn protrude and hurt less.
  • The corn can then be gently scrapped out if it is showing – Never use something sharp at home!
  • Be careful with frail skin – especially if a diabetic or with peripheral vascular disease- always see a podiatrist before using these.


Callus Removal Home Remedy:
  • Soak your feet! It is very easy to soak your feet and then grind away the skin with a pumice stone or an emery board. Soak your feet for at least 10-20 minutes. It is possible to add boric acid, bran & Iodine to improve the results.
  • The above point can be supplemented by applying salicylic acid to your skin callus after soaking. Salicylic acid can be purchased in 40% pads or a 17% solution that can be applied with a Q-tip. The Mayo Clinic says to be careful to check for irritation when putting these on. Try salicylic acid at night for a few nights to see if it decreases callus formation. I personally do not think that this is a great method.
  • Aloe Vera, Cocoa Butter or Lotions + Socks  is also very good for calluses. Apply the agent of choice to the calluses when you go to bed at night and over a few days the calluses should start to decrease and the socks should keep your sheets clean.
  • Use an emery board or a pumice stone can then be used to remove the callus for faster results.
  • Antibiotic cream can also be helpful if you break the skin bearer at all.
  • Use gel pads for calluses between the toes. A band-aid can work but there are fantastic products such as gel pads that will make your pain disappear and you won’t even know that they are there. Jill’s foot pads are available at most pharmacies and are very cheap.
  • Vaseline or petroleum jelly applied to the skin can help reduce friction and will also soften the callus for when it comes time to grind it away.
  • Wearing socks if you were not previously using them can be fantastic. The best socks for summer are synthetic socks and the best socks for winter may be wool socks, these decrease friction and prevent callus formation. Combine this method with the Vaseline or petroleum jelly method above to greatly decrease friction.
  • Note: These can all be temporary methods, seeing a podiatrist to correct the deformity may be the only way to get permanent results.


When to see a podiatrist:
  • Get a bio-mechanical exam to determine why the corn continues to appear
  • If the corn & callus is removed and the pain is still there for a long time means that you likely have a deformity in that area and it may need to be surgically corrected
  • All of the above methods are only temporary treatments. Skin calluses are usually due to a deformity that would need to be corrected.