Calluses occur because of the way we stand and walk. The standard walking motion involves a transfer of your body weight from the heel to the ball of the forefoot. These two body areas are where the skin is at its thickest in order to withstand the pressure. To fight back against an excessive pressure in those areas the skin will thicken in the form of callus (or corn). Callus formation can be described as the response of your body to the friction of skin rubbing against a bone, shoe or the ground.
As described above Callus (or callosity) is an extended area of thickened, hard skin on the soles of your feet or the palm of your hand. A callus may be the symptom of underlying problems such as bone abnormalities, improper gait or inappropriate footwear. Your skin type may also be a risk factor for developing calluses as people with dry, thus less supple skin, are more prone to callus build-up. Age may also be a risk factor since skin fat tends to decrease overtime rendering your skin less flexible. Therefore, elderly people are more likely to form calluses on the ball of the foot.
The most common causes of calluses are high-heeled shoes and ill-fitted footwear. Indeed, wearing shoes that are too high, too high-arched, hard soled or leather soled, can greatly affect weight distribution on your feet and thus create troublesome areas more likely to develop calluses in reaction to this unwanted pressure. If this is the case for you, you should try to limit wearing those shoes as much as possible.
Also, unaccustomed exercise or prolonged periods of standing might induce callus formation, as well as, wearing no socks or no footwear at all. Therefore, if possible try to avoid those situations.
However, wearing well-fitted shoes doesn’t necessarily mean that you will stay exempt of calluses. Your occupation may be a risk factor. Professions with a high risk of developing calluses include but are not limited to a person delivering mail, a nurse, a waiter/waitress or a flight attendant.