Corns and callus can be painful and a site for infection

Why do calluses form on the side of the big toe

Calluses are a common foot condition that can affect anyone, causing thickened, hardened areas of skin to develop. While they may seem harmless, calluses can lead to discomfort and even pain if left untreated. One area where calluses frequently form is on the side of the big toe. In this blog post, we’ll explore what calluses are, why they develop on the side of the big toe, and how to effectively manage and prevent them for optimal foot health.

What are calluses?
Calluses are areas of thickened, toughened skin that develop in response to repeated friction, pressure, or irritation. They typically form on weight-bearing areas of the feet, such as the heels, balls of the feet, and sides of the toes. Calluses are the body’s natural defence mechanism, as the thickened skin helps protect underlying tissues from damage and injury.

Several factors can contribute to the formation of calluses on the side of the big toe, including:

  1. Poorly Fitted Footwear: Wearing shoes that are too tight or narrow can increase pressure and friction on the sides of the big toe, leading to the development of calluses.
  2. Toe Deformities: Conditions such as bunions or hammertoes can cause the big toe to rub against adjacent toes or the sides of shoes, resulting in friction and callus formation.
  3. Abnormal Foot Mechanics: Imbalances in foot mechanics, such as overpronation (excessive inward rolling of the foot) or under-pronation (insufficient inward rolling), can contribute to uneven pressure distribution on the feet, leading to calluses.

Managing and Preventing Calluses:
While calluses are typically not harmful, they can cause discomfort or pain, especially if they become thickened or cracked. Here are some tips for managing and preventing calluses on the side of the big toe:

  • Wear Properly Fitted Shoes: Choose footwear that provides adequate room for your toes to move freely without rubbing against the sides of the shoes. Avoid shoes with narrow toe boxes or high heels, as they can increase pressure on the sides of the big toe.
  • Use Protective Padding: Apply moleskin or gel pads to the sides of the big toe to reduce friction and pressure, especially if you have toe deformities such as bunions or hammertoes.
  • Practice Good Foot Hygiene: Keep your feet clean and moisturized to prevent dry, cracked skin, which can contribute to callus formation. Use a pumice stone or foot file to gently exfoliate thickened skin.
  • Address Underlying Foot Conditions: If you have underlying foot conditions such as bunions or hammertoes, consult a podiatrist for proper evaluation and treatment to address the root cause of callus formation.

Calluses on the side of the big toe are a common foot condition that can result from various factors, including poorly fitted footwear, toe deformities, and abnormal foot mechanics. While calluses are typically not harmful, they can cause discomfort and pain if left untreated. By following proper foot care practices and addressing underlying foot conditions, you can effectively manage and prevent calluses for optimal foot health and comfort. If you experience persistent foot pain or discomfort related to calluses, consult a podiatrist for proper evaluation and treatment.