Calluses on the feet are typically harmless and heal on their own when the source of irritation, such as tight shoes or loosely fit shoes, is removed, according to Mayo Clinic. While waiting for the callus to heal, wear protective padding to reduce further friction around the skin.
A persistent or pain-inducing callus may require medical attention, especially if there is no obvious environmental cause or the condition interferes with walking, states the American Podiatric Medical Association. A physician can perform an outpatient removal procedure that involves gently shaving off layers of dead skin using a surgical scalpel. Depending on the severity of pain, a doctor may prescribe cortisone injections to help the patient continue with everyday tasks.
Salicylic acid patches are an over-the-counter option doctors can recommend if the callus is treatable at home, notes Mayo Clinic. The doctor may give dosage instructions and advise patients to clear away as much dead skin as possible using an emery board or pumice stone. In rare cases, a physical examination or X-ray test may reveal a more serious foot condition, such as misalignment issues, and physicians may consider surgery necessary to stop recurrent calluses.
Calluses form as patches of thick, tough skin in response to repetitive pressure or friction and usually appear on the foot soles, explains the American Podiatric Medical Association. They are often confused with corns, which form on the toes or the top of the feet.