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Calluses are hardened, thick areas of dead skin that typically form on weight-bearing areas of the feet. You may develop a callus on the bottom of the foot in the ball or heel, or on the outside edge of a toe. They are often painless at first, but can become painful over time.

Calluses develop from repeated friction or pressure on the skin. This pressure is usually due to improperly fitted shoes. However, calluses can also develop on the ball of the foot when one of the underlying metatarsal bones is lower (a dropped metatarsal) and strikes the ground first or with greater intensity than the other metatarsals.

People who stand or run for prolonged periods, walk barefoot, wear improperly fitted shoes, don’t wear socks with shoes, or have misalignments in the bones of their feet-from arthritis, bunions, hammertoes, etc.-are more likely to develop calluses.

While there are over-the-counter callus removers and pumice stones that might be tempting to try at home, they can be harmful if not used correctly. Diabetics and those with poor circulation should never try to remove a callus at home.

Dr. Abramsohn has a number of professional methods to remove calluses properly, which are safe and painless.

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