Calluses are thickenings of the skin that develop on the bottom of the feet. This is usually in response to pressure, created during walking from the underlying metatarsal bone rubbing over skin that has been trapped between the shoe and that metatarsal. When there is bone pressure in one particular area of the skin, the skin responds by producing a hard layer which we refer to as a “callus”. It can be seen that a callus is really a problem related to the underlying bone, and not the skin.
Treatment for this condition usually involves reducing the bone pressure on the skin by padding the foot or by controlling the motion of the metatarsals with foot orthotic devices. This is generally successful. When pressure is not satisfactorily relieved by the above conservative means, then surgery to elevate or shorten the metatarsal bone is performed.