Do You Know What Causes Calluses On The Bottom Of Your Feet?


When walking becomes an extremely painful activity, there’s always something more than what meets the eye, don’t you think? If the skin on your feet has been subjected to excessive rubbing, pressure, or friction, you know it’s callusing.

Calluses are hard, thickened or swollen up areas on the skin that originate and spread only on the feet, which is what makes walking such a painful task. While there are many causes, some of the most common ones are constant friction, rubbing, or pressure on only one part of the foot. And that’s what causes calluses on the bottom of feet.

When you walk a little too often in poorly fitted shoes, that can also lead to the formation of calluses on the skin. Pain and discomfort, both mild and severe, are the most common symptoms of this condition.

what causes calluses on the bottom of feet


What Are Calluses

Calluses are the formation of hard and rough, thickened areas on the feet due to constant rubbing, friction, or pressure applied to the skin. This condition can even develop on the hands or anywhere else on the body so long as the skin of that particular part of the body is subjected to repetitive frictional pressure.

When calluses occur, it can get really painful and that’s when you need to treat the condition immediately before it gets any worse. However, some calluses are not all that painful but it is always a better idea to consult a medical professional before you dismiss the condition as insignificant.

People who have other diseases or disorders like diabetes, neuropathy (lack of sensation), low blood circulation, etc. should make it a point to see their doctor as soon as they spot the very first symptom, even if there is absolutely no pain caused by the developing or already developed the callus.

What Are the Symptoms of Calluses

There are two stages that have their own specific symptoms. The first stage is what causes calluses on the bottom of feet to develop. The callus is in its developing stage at this point. The symptoms to look out for in the first stage are:

  • Burning sensation or throbbing.
  • The skin over a bony area on your foot starts getting thicker without sharp borders.
  • ​And this thickened skin changes color to brown, red, or yellowish gray.
  • Formation of cracks or fissures.

Up until the first stage, calluses are not normally painful. But if you fail to identify the symptoms and treat the condition properly, it enters stage two. And that can be extremely painful. So you know the calluses are getting worse when:

  • There is a lot of pain around the thickened skin areas.
  • Your callus-stricken foot becomes a tad too sensitive.
  • ​An unpleasant fluid like pus is oozing out from the callus.
  • ​The infected area swells up.
  • You are down with a fever.

What Are the Risk Factors for Calluses

There is no age group that this condition targets, but it is quite common in people that have passed the 60 years mark. People of any age can develop calluses, especially those who are already suffering from the following diseases or disorders:


1. Hammertoe

Hammertoe is a deformed condition in which the toe gets twisted in the shape of a claw.

2. Bunions

Bunions develop below the big toe. A bunion is an unusually hard bump found on the joint right under the big toe.

3. Other Foot Ailments

One common foot ailment that may increase the risk of calluses is a bone spur as it has the tendency to cause continuous friction inside the shoe.

What Causes Calluses on the Bottom of Feet

By now you already know that continuous friction, rubbing, or pressure on exposed skin leads to the formation of calluses. What causes calluses on bottom of feet is when this pressure is caused by the following determinants:

Poor-fitting Shoes

poor fiting shoe


The wrong kind of footwear can really damage the tissues and bones in your feet, especially high-heeled shoes and also tight fitting shoes. What they do is cram up certain areas of your foot.

On the other hand, very loose fitting shoes harm your feet in just the opposite manner. With loose shoes, your feet have more room inside to repetitively slide and rub against the material of the shoe’s interior, which in most cases is either a seam or a stitch.

Imagine running in a pair of either too tight or too loose running shoes! The formation of calluses is inevitable in such a case. And that is why athletes and runners are more likely to be affected by this condition.

Not Wearing Socks

This is a very common cause of developing calluses. What causes calluses on the bottom of feet even when you’re wearing the most comfortable shoes or sandals is the fact that you’re skipping socks. The lack of socks causes your feet to be subjected to repeated friction inside the shoes. Ill-fitted socks can also stir trouble for your feet.

Bony Toes

If you have slightly raised bony toes paired with comparatively thinner skin, then it is highly likely that you might develop calluses on the bottom of your feet. In fact, any foot deformity or ailment that makes the foot and toes more susceptible to easily rub against the inside of the shoe can be listed as one of the most common causes of calluses.

How to Treat Calluses?

what causes calluses on the bottom of feet

If you’re looking for non-surgical ways to treat calluses, then I have discussed all the possible home remedies below. But if you’re looking for a more invasive method (surgery) to treat calluses, then I would advise you to visit your podiatrist or doctor.

Because the only invasive method to treat calluses is to remove them, which can and should only be done by a medical professional and not at home by yourself.

How to Naturally Soften the Calluses on the Heel?

So anyway, the non-invasive, non-surgical, home remedies to treat the condition calluses on the bottom of feet, are all mentioned below.

  • The use of orthotics, such as Powerstep Pinnacle Premium Orthotic Shoe Insoles and Superfeet Premium Shoe Insoles, which are constructed with exceptional shock-absorbent qualities. They don’t allow all the pressure to fall only on one part of the foot. Instead, the pressure is divided equally.
  • In order to break down the pressure buildup, the use of non-medicated pads around the infected areas can go a long way in treating the condition naturally.
  • Salicylic acid significantly contributes in softening thickened skin. And now there are pads that have salicylic acid which you can use as a valuable home remedy. Pads like Curad Mediplast 40% Salicylic Acid Pads are great for the treatment of calluses.
  • Your footwear collection might need a complete makeover. High heels should be off the table. If they are what caused the calluses or made them worse in the first place, then your feet are better off without them.
  • The use of a material called moleskin is also another effective way to treat calluses on your own. It comes in the form of patches or strips that you can easily put on your infected foot or both feet. These are to be worn under your own pair of shoes, even if they are the ones that caused calluses on the bottom of your feet. Dr. Scholl’s Moleskin Plus Padding Roll is a really excellent option to get you started.

Moleskin Foot Care

Other helpful, traditional home remedies include decent foot hygiene measures, walking barefoot as much as possible in the house and submerging the feet in warm water along with pumice stone.

This last remedy significantly helps in dissolving the thickened areas formed on foot. Premium Natural Lava Pumice Stone and Cuccio Earth Lava Pumice Stone are two of the best pumice stones for feet.

what causes calluses on the bottom of feet


The good thing about our feet is that since they hold all the weight of our body, it’s quite easy to tell when something’s wrong. And this is made possible only when you feel some pain or discomfort in any part or all of the foot. Likewise, it comes to what causes calluses on the bottom of feet, one can easily spot the initial signs in order to begin the correct treatment right away.

Now this treatment can be surgical (invasive) or non-surgical (natural) depending on how bad the condition is. In most cases, treating it on your own at home has more benefits than disadvantages, as opposed to surgical methods.

Some very useful components to assist you with naturally healing the condition better and quicker are:

  • Orthotics- Powerstep Pinnacle Premium Orthotic Shoe Insoles and Superfeet Premium Shoe Insoles.
  • Pads with salicylic acid- Curad Mediplast 40% Salicylic Acid Pads.
  • ​Moleskin- Dr. Scholl’s Moleskin Plus Padding Roll.
  • Pumice stone soaked in warm water- Premium Natural Lava Pumice Stone and Cuccio Earth Lava Pumice Stone.

Have you ever tried using any of these products to relieve the pain caused by calluses? If not, then what measures did you take to make your feet feel better?

I would appreciate it if you could share your experience with us here. So please don’t be shy to leave a comment below.

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Lamont Ly

My name is Lamont Ly and I have spent the countless number of hours researching and studying the best solutions for foot care related problems. My goal is to save your time as well as money by offering all the assistance backed by relevant and reliable information so that the health of your feet is not compromised in any way.

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