When we are talking about the hard and thick skin that appears on our feet we are talking about callous. Callous occurs when a certain layer of your skin thickens in response to friction and pressure. Some thickening is normal, especially in high pressure areas like the heels and balls of our feet. So why do some of us have much thicker and harder skin?
Callous forms in direct response to pressure, so those of us with abnormal foot mechanics or those who spend long days on their feet are applying more pressure to their feet than others. With this excessive pressure the callous forms thicker and harder attempting to protect the foot better. But this harder and thicker skin puts more pressure on the foot again, causing increased callous. This cycle continues forming exceptionally thick and hard callous that can be painful as well.
The easiest way to treat hard skin is through debridement. This involves a podiatrist reducing the thickness of the skin using a scalpel. This is further supported by using lotions on our feet that have a substance called urea, which is designed to break down hard skin. The final piece of the puzzle involves wearing the right shoes to reduce the mechanical force on the feet.
If you are having problems with excessively hard and thick skin call our clinic at (07) 3823 5423 to book an appointment with one of our podiatrists.