Never Cut Your Calluses

Robert G. Parker
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Dr. Parker is a podiatrist and surgeon in Houston, TX who has been helping patients for more than 40 years.

Spring is almost here, and soon enough the cool but pleasant temperatures we’ve had will be gone. Houston’s heat will be back. The warm temperatures do have their positives, of course. With spring comes sandal season. Many people enjoy this chance to wear shoes that keep their toes cool while the weather isn’t so hot that you risk burning your feet. Showing off your feet in sandals, though, also means showing off any calluses.

Many people dislike their calluses and would rather get rid of them. However, there are right and wrong ways to do so. You should never cut, shave, clip, or otherwise perform “bathroom surgery” on these lesions. That could actually damage your feet and cause bigger problems down the road.

Calluses themselves are not necessarily bad. They are thickened patches of dry skin that build up under pressure or friction over an extended period of time. They are your body’s way of protecting an area of skin that may be vulnerable to damage. In some cases, they are harmless, albeit a bit unsightly. Other times, however, the skin buildup can form a thick patch that is actually quite uncomfortable. You may find it painful to wear some shoes or even to walk around.

If these patches bother you in any way, they need to go. There are several techniques to soften and eliminate skin buildup—but cutting them off isn’t one of them. You have a high risk of accidentally cutting into healthy skin, which is painful and sharply increases your risk for infections. If you have a weakened immune system, this risk is particularly high. Cutting the wrong area, or clipping too much, could also make the problem worse in the long run.

A little conservative care can go a long way to treat the problem, though. Basic foot hygiene and pumice stone treatments can help soften the buildup. Shoe changes and orthotics relieve pressure, which can actually help with the root of the problem. If your calluses are particularly large and do not respond to conservative care, you might need surgery to remove them safely. Our team at Parker Foot & Ankle in Houston, TX, will help you find the right treatment for your feet. So don’t cut your calluses—take care of them safely. Call (281) 497-2850 or use our web request form to make an appointment with us about your foot health today.

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