A callus is an area of thick, hard skin that develops due to pressure or friction. A callus on your heel forms as your body's way of protecting itself, but may cause discomfort and be a source of self-consciousness.
Causes of a heel callus
Calluses can form on the heel due to pressure or continuous rubbing. Heel calluses are typically caused by ill-fitting shoes or standing for long periods of time. Individuals who are obese often suffer from calluses due to the amount of pressure placed on their feet.
Heel callus symptoms
A heel callus is a small patch of skin on the heel that may be:
- Dry and flaky.
- Rough to the touch.
Treatment of heel calluses
Calluses can typically be treated by softening and smoothing the affected skin. You can use a pumice stone to remove dead skin cells and rough areas to make the skin smoother. Applying lotion to the affected area once or twice a day can also soften the skin.
In addition to keeping the skin moisturized, you should wear comfortable shoes and avoid putting unnecessary pressure on your feet. Placing heel inserts inside of your hard-soled shoes will provide more cushion and reduce pressure on your heels. With treatment, the skin on your heel may remain thicker and protected but will have an even texture and more pleasing appearance.
In extreme cases, calluses can be surgically removed, but this is not usually recommended. Since calluses develop to toughen up the skin and prevent cuts and infection, they will likely return, often thicker than before. It is especially important that you do not try to remove calluses yourself with a razor or other sharp object, as you can remove too much skin and risk infection. If an infection develops, seek medical treatment, as this can become a more serious problem.