The Official College of Podiatrists (ICOPCV) has warned that removing a callus at home can seriously harm the health of the feet, being an “extremely dangerous” practice for diabetics or anticoagulated people.
“We have to bear in mind that a callus is a sign of poor support and may be more than a hardness that we have to remove for simple aesthetics. Hyperkeratosis is one of our body’s responses to excess friction and/or pressure on the certain areas of the foot. And it is essential to go to a podiatrist to find out the cause of this overpressure in the area”, explained the president of the ICOPCV, Pilar Nieto.
A callus is produced because the body produces keratinocytes (epidermal cells) in response to an external stimulus, creating layers and layers, until hyperkeratosis appears. It is a defense mechanism that causes layers of devitalized tissue to accumulate in an attempt to prevent the area from suffering a major injury, such as an ulceration.
“We absolutely do not recommend treating calluses at home because the appearance of a callus is a symptom of something that needs a solution in our lower limb. Mainly, it means that there is poor support when walking, therefore, it must be corrected with the appropriate treatment. In addition, it can hide a bone deformity that, although it may not be evident at the moment, may do so in the future, affecting the person’s biomechanics,” said the vice president of the ICOPCV, Maite García.
On the other hand, podiatrists have also warned that some types of calluses are often confused with plantar warts and, if they are filed off, the pathology could worsen since they require specific treatment and, furthermore, they are contagious.
“There is a belief that calluses can be removed on their own, but this is not the case. Only when a podiatrist finds the origin can it be treated. Sometimes templates are required and, on other occasions, excision of the callus. In cases more severe, surgery may be needed,” Nieto clarified.
Likewise, the ICOPCV has reported that calluses worsen in smokers due to the effects that nicotine has on skin cells. Finally, they have remembered that if greater wear of the footwear is detected on the outside or inside, it is important to go to the foot health specialist to be able to balance the tread in the most appropriate way, since this will help prevent future injuries and pain in the members of the musculoskeletal system.