callus on bottom of foot

All You Need to Know About Calluses And How To Treat Them

Perhaps you are a hard-core runner who likes nothing but the feel of slipping on your running shoes in the early morning and going out for a nice run. Whether it is a matter of going for a lengthy, ten-mile jog or a sprinting a hard 100 meters on the track, your passion knows no boundaries for this particular sport.

callus on the bottom of your foot

That said, maybe you have started to notice some hard stuff forming on the surface of your skin just recently. While not necessarily painful, they can be a bit annoying to run on, let alone make your feet look attractive (which it does not).

You are not sure what they are, or at least know how to get rid of them, which can certainly be a frustrating feat to encounter while in the midst of training for a race.

Little do you know that you have what is known as calluses. Related to the structure of the tissue underneath your feet, they are not an uncommon occurrence among people who tend to be on their feet often doing chores or, in your case, doing sports.

You might be at loss for knowing what to do to combat them, but have no fear: we are here to help! Our article will help you figure out that callus on the bottom of your foot, as well as how to go about treating it. Soon enough, you will be on your way to smooth underfoot in no time. Let us begin!


What Are Calluses?

What Are Calluses

Also known as “callosity,” calluses are essentially a thick, toughened part of the skin. They are often found on the sides of the toes, underneath the feet, and on the hands. They are often characterized with a white or yellow-ish bump, which is not very pleasant to look at.

How Do Calluses Form?

Simply put, calluses form due to constant friction, rubbing, and pressure between the skin. As a result, skin cells start to accumulate, thereby creating a notable, unattractive bump, on the body. Calluses are different from other things like hammer toes which are caused by activity going on inside of the feet, instead of merely on the surface.

How Do Calluses Form

Certain ways that calluses can form include activities such as writing or playing a musical instrument, which are expected to create them on the hands, palms, and fingers.

For instance, you might develop a callus between your index and middle fingers when writing, for you might be grasping the pen too tightly, causing added friction to heat up and shift skin cells.

Similarly, playing a musical instrument such as the violin requires you to press hard on the strings, which can not only hurt, but also create the toughening of skin on the fingertips, thereby making them callused.

On the other hand, calluses can form through the practice of sports. Especially if you lift heavy weights or tend to be on your feet for the duration of the workout, the more likely that there will be more friction involved, therefore creating more dead skin cells which will accumulate.

For example, many runners tend to get calluses on the bottoms and sides of their feet, since they are constantly working them with each step they take during their runs.

In addition, there is a particular type of callus that is known as a corn (“clavus”). Essentially, it is the smaller, harder version of a callus that occurs when friction starts to focalize in a circular motion at a specific part of the body, thereby leading to the development of a corn. Not very pleasant, per se, if not worse than having calluses.

For some more differences between a callus and a corn, this video will help you out with lots of information about each one: 

Are They Harmful To Our Body?

Normally, calluses are not harmful to the body. However, they might be extremely irritating to walk on, in some cases painful. Here are just a few possible consequences to having calluses:

Swelling In The Area.

Swelling In The Area

One of the most common effects of calluses are that they are likely to cause swelling in the area, whether on the hands or in the feet. Besides looking unpleasant, it can also create a sense of tenderness that can make it difficult to get by in daily life.

Pain And Tenderness

Pain And Tenderness

Going off the previous point, calluses can not just lead to swelling, but also generally cause irritation and pain in the affected area. Depending on your pain tolerance level, it can be especially hard to walk, run, even hold up an object, which can make everyday living just a bit more of a challenge.

Cracked Skin

Cracked Skin

If the callused area gets too hard and dry, then it can possibly lead to the cracking of the skin, which is again painful. Even further, under extreme circumstances can cracked skin lead to more serious problems such as skin ulceration and infection.

When the area becomes inflamed or openly wounded, respectively, it can cause outside pathogens to enter and cause even worse symptoms, such as fever and blood-related diseases. Particularly if you are diabetic, you are more at risk for these things with an affected callus.

Fluid Secretion.

Fluid Secretion

Aspects such as pus and blood can come out of the callus, particularly if it has an open wound. It is extremely unpleasant, and if not carefully clean, then it can lead to worse symptoms down the line.

Overall Unattractiveness

Overall Unattractiveness

Finally, the main reason that no one wants calluses on their feet and hands is merely due to the fact that they look unattractive. They make showing off your wedding ring or wearing sandals unlikely, without being judged by others for your appearance.

Psychologically-speaking, it can lead to low self-esteem, let alone being self-conscious, which does not help the issue any better.

Related Post : What Is A Heel Spurs & How To Get Rid Of Heel Spurs On Your Feet

For more consequences of having calluses, here is a video that you might want to check out:

What Are Some Ways I Can Get Rid Of Calluses?

Unlike other common symptoms like blisters and bunions, calluses have their own method to being removed. Even though it is located on the surface, it can still be difficult to remove, i.e. harder than you might believe.

In fact, it is easier to prevent than it is to treat them, which can be all the more frustrating.

However, it is not an impossible feat, and we will give you a break-down of some prevention and remedies you can take to help you out. Soon enough, your hands and feet will be callused-free in no time!


  • Wear good socks and shoes. General as this statement seems, it is the most important rule when it comes to preventing just about any symptom, including calluses. 
Wear good socks and shoes

Besides getting comfortable and supportive running shoes, it is also important to get appropriate socks for exercising—in fact, there are specifically-designed running socks out there made from light, breathable material: this is to make sure that the feet inside do not get overly stuffy or sweaty, which can otherwise increase your chances of getting calluses.

​Our article on how to find the best running socks will ensure that you prevent calluses from happening, along with keeping you comfortable on the run.

  • Use insoles: Similarly, getting arch support helps your feet remain balanced, as well as with having even weight distribution. Without even weight distribution, your feet can cause skin cells to accumulate on one side of the area, which is certainly not pleasant.
Use insoles

If you are not sure about how to find the ideal arch support for you, then our article on it will help you get started.

You might also like : Finding The Best Boot Insoles For Your Feet

  • Keep your feet clean. Going off on what was discussed in the previous section about smelly and sweaty feet, not taking good care of your foot hygiene can lead to the accumulation of unpleasant bacteria, which certainly does not help keep the skin looking good. 
Keep your feet clean

Plus, foot odors are a real (and not-so-great) thing. That said, taking the extra minute to scrub your feet in the shower can make a huge difference, for preventing calluses and looking well-groomed.


  • Soak in apple cider vinegar: So perhaps you have developed a callus, anyway. Therefore, one way to treat it is by using apple cider vinegar: with its acidic content, it can gradually wear away at the skin’s toughness, thereby breaking down the hard surface that can be effectively removed afterwards.
Soak in apple cider vinegar

That said, all you need to do is simply place the apple cider vinegar in a shallow tub of hot water, with just enough to coat the underside of your feet.

Let your feet soak in the tub for a minimum of 15 to 20 minutes until you feel the callus soften. Then, you can gradually scrape the dead skin cells off.

  • Gently scrape with pumice: This works hand-in-hand with the use of apple cider vinegar, but all the same, it is the ideal tool to use when it comes to removing the hardened skin cells from the surface of your body. 
Gently scrape with pumice

​While some people might choose to use a nail filer, the dangers of using it are that it is a bit too abrasive for the skin: it is not as fine and, if not careful, it can lead to over scraping the surface and injuring the area.

Hence, pumice is a finer alternative, since it is rough, but also delicate enough not to hurt the exterior of your skin. In addition, it is also a great item to use for removing dead skin cells from other parts of your body, thereby leaving you with smooth, impeccable skin!

  • Use castor oil. Especially if you have corns (which are even harder to remove than calluses), castor oil has the toughness to get rid of it in no time. Not only that, but it is super easy to use. 
Use castor oil

All you have to do is apply a bit of the oil to the surface using a cotton swab, before taping it over and letting the oil do its thing to your corn. Soon enough, you will start to see it giving away, and then you can work it off.

  • Try Epsom salt: Seen as the ultimate cure to everything—headaches, upset stomachs, chronic pain—Epsom salt can also be used for getting rid of calluses and corns. 
Try Epsom salt

That said, simply add the salts into a tub of warm water, before immersing your callused area in there for at least 10 minutes. Eventually, you will start to feel the callus give away, which then you can start gently removing with pumice.

The trick is to do it gradually, over a period of days and weeks, for trying to scrape everything off in one go can cause pain and even worsening of the symptom.

  • Use everyday food items. Believe it or not, even certain food items in the comforts of your home have some purpose besides eating. 
Use everyday food items

Items like bread, lemon, and onion have absorbent or acidic properties which are just as potent as medicinal drugs out there—that said, they are extremely affordable remedies to consider.

For instance, bread and onion have absorbent properties that, when combined with apple cider vinegar, can speed up the removal and healing processes of callus removal. Simply attach a piece of them to the affect area and leave them to do their magic! The same goes for lemons, although they act more as the apple cider vinegar to eliminate it.

While these are all home remedies that you can do for the cheap, there are also specifically-design callus removers you can invest in, should you desire to. We will be discussing this in our callus removal article, which you can check out.


Overall, calluses are irritating, even debilitating, symptoms from hardened skin cells. While not the easiest to remove, taking the time to research and prescribe remedies will over time remove them. Granted, it takes patience, but it is very much rewarded at the end of it.

If you know a friend or family member who suffers from calluses, why not share this article with them to help? Feel free to Comment about your experiences with calluses!


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