Calluses are rough, toughened areas of the skin often seen in the feet but could also occur in other parts of the body. These calluses are usually formed because of constant rubbing of the skin with something firm or hard such as shoes. The pressure and repeated friction makes the skin tough. When the force is too much or if the friction is constant, there is a high likelihood of developing blisters instead of calluses. This is sometimes associated with new shoes that have hard insoles. Still, if the blistered areas are subjected to repeated force and friction, these will soon form calluses.
Since feet are the ones that bear the weight of the body as the person walks or does certain activities, these are more prone to having calluses. This is especially true in women who love to wear tight-fitting shoes as a fashion statement. Still, calluses are not just found in the feet but can also be found in other areas, especially the hands and fingers. Calluses in the fingers are often seen in people who are constantly using their hands for writing or playing instruments. Calluses of the palms of the hands are seen in people who often use their hands to do manual work, martial arts, or sports such as racket sports.
Summer Foot Problems: Calluses & Cracked Heels
- Two common summertime foot problems are calluses and cracked heels. Calluses are an accumulation of dead skin cells that turn harden and thick. On the foot, they are generally formed on the bottom, the heel and occasionally the inside part of the big toe. Calluses are most often caused by friction and pressure. Calluses are often caused by wearing shoes too small or heels uncomfortably high.
- Dry, cracked heels are normally caused by over wearing open-backed shoes such as sandals or flip-flops which can cause cracked heels. While the heat of the summer may make a person want to wear open heel shoes, it is a good idea to alternate between sandals and closed heeled shoes.
- When purchasing footwear, look for styles that minimize slippage and ensure maximum flexibility while maintaining adequate arch support. During the summer months, feet with calluses and cracked heels can be soothed by soaking them in cool water and Epsom salts.
- If the feet are consistently in pain at the end of a long summer day, the patient should consult a foot specialist such as a podiatrist to determine if he or she has a more serious problem.