If you have a thick area of skin on your foot, this thick area may be a callus. A callus is a type of skin condition that can develop if your feet are subject to repetitive friction. Calluses actually form to protect the feet, but can become painful and need treatment. Diabetic patients always need treatment from calluses, as do people with poor circulation or anyone who experiences loss of sensation around the callused area.
Elizabeth E. Auger, DPM provides treatment of calluses and other skin conditions to patients in and around Salt Lake City. You should visit Dr. Auger to get treatment provided by a caring and experienced podiatrist as soon as you begin to notice changes to the skin of your feet.
When friction or pressure on the feet starts to cause damage, the skin will thicken and harden. These thick, hard areas of skin, which are most likely to form on the heels or on the balls of the feet, are called calluses.
Sometimes, the only symptom of a callus is the thick skin that forms. This thickness does not have distinct borders, and the thick skin can sometimes be discolored. Unfortunately, some people who get calluses also experience tenderness, throbbing, or burning. Painful cracks can also form in the skin, which can sometimes result in infection.
If you have calluses, Dr. Auger can usually diagnose the problem through a visual exam. In some cases, a biopsy may be necessary to confirm a diagnosis. Imaging tests, such as X-rays, could be needed to assess whether the underlying bone structure of the feet is making you more prone to calluses.
Once you have been diagnosed with calluses, Dr. Auger can work with you to develop an appropriate plan for treating this problem. The hardened skin could be removed surgically; removed through the use of chemical agents; or removed after medication breaks up the hard areas of the skin. Dr. Auger will also help you to prevent calluses through the use of customized orthotics or, when necessary, through the surgical correction of foot deformities that are causing calluses to occur.
You should not assume calluses are harmless or that they will go away on their own, especially if the calluses hurt or crack, or if you are a high-risk patient with conditions like diabetes. If you live in or around Salt Lake City we have three convenient locations in West Jordan, Millcreek, and Sandy. Call (801) 619-2170 to schedule a same-day appointment with a caring and knowledgeable podiatrist who can help you.