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Callus / hard skin

Callus or hard skin forms on the foot where there is excess pressure. It is the body’s self-protection mechanism to stop the foot developing a sore or wound. The body continues to produce hard skin when you don’t need it and this can become painful.  Hard skin can be formed on the boney areas of the foot, the sole of the foot and around the heel. Often it does not hurt, however the pain can occasionally be severe.


  • The way you walk: The foot is designed to weight bear equally; it is a complicated mechanism that will adapt to keep you walking. Therefore, some areas of the foot can be in contact with the ground a little longer than they should be encouraging the build-up of hard skin.
  • Occupation: Standing for a long time or overuse of the feet can lead to the build-up of hard skin
  • Friction over a particular area of the foot from socks or shoes
  • Foot wear that isn’t fitted correctly: too tight or too loose and it rubs the foot e.g. Court shoes
  • Crooked toes: The tops of the toes rub against the shoe causing hard skin to build up
  • Being overweight: Excess pressure on the feet causes the body to protect itself by producing hard skin on the bottom of the foot.


Daily: Application of a daily foot cream will help to keep the skin supple

Weekly: Using a foot file twice a week before showering - the hard skin will rub off like powder. Be firm with the file but not so rigorous that your foot feels tender.  After showering when the foot is still warm apply a foot cream.

Check your footwear and wear a different style from day-to-day

Seek professional care from a HCPC Registered Podiatrist

NEVER try to remove hard skin with a pair of scissors or a razor blade. This can lead to cuts and cause an infection. This is especially important for those who are diabetic, have poor skin quality or circulation problems