Plantar Callus – Plantar Callus Removal, Pictures & Treatment


At times, the toe bone structures are defective causing unequal pressure to be exerted on the toes. This may lead to formation of plantar callus. Find out what these are, how to tell if one is having a plantar wart or callus, plantar callus treatment and natural plantar callus removal.

Plantar Wart or Callus?

Calluses on the sole of the foot, which are areas of thickened and hardened skin, are usually the result of friction. It is usually caused by ill-fitting shoes or some other irritant. Plantar calluses normally form when one bone happens to be lower or longer than others. As a result, it hits the ground with more force than it ought to. This is what contributes to the skin under it thickening.

Plantar Callus
Plantar or foot callus

Plantar warts and calluses can be easily confused. While a plantar wart may appear thick and hardened just like a plantar callus, it is cause by the human papillomavirus (HPV) while the callus is caused by pressure on feet. When the virus gets its way into the body, one experiences abrasions and scrapes. There is the growth of benign cells which manifest as warts.

  • A plantar wart contains clotted blood vessels and as such has some black dots on the surface while a callus does not.
  • The warts are painful when pressure is applied on them but a callus will not feel as much pain since it contains dead skin.
  • Calluses tend to have a smooth contour while plantar warts are irregularly shaped.

Since the causes for the two are different, they respond to different treatments. Plantar warts can also be passed from one another in case the virus is passed on. The plantar callus results from pressure subjected to the feet.

Plantar Callus Treatment

Plantar callus treatment should be aimed at getting rid of the hard dead skin. to treat this, the doctor can use a scalpel to trim away the thick skin. Patches can also be used to dress the callus. These contain 40 percent salicylic acid. These can also be applied topically. Once applied, the patient is expected to remove dead skin cells using a pumice stone or metal file. The application and filing should be done on a daily basis until the callus disappears. In case the callus case is severe as a result of a problem in bone structure, a corrective surgery can be carried out.

  • Padding: One can use a cut out pad and place it over the plantar callus. This way, the callus sits at its center and the weight is offloaded to the surrounding pad.
  • Modifying the shoes: To reduce the amount of weight being shifted to the fore feet, one should wear low heels. A shoe that has a wide and soft toe box is also recommended as opposed to sharp pointed toe boxes which tend to congest the toes.
  • Anti-inflammatory injections: anti-inflammatory injections are preferred as opposed to steroid injections which can exacerbate the plantar foot further by creating a fat pad atrophy.
  • Moisturizers: use of moisturizing creams and lotions can effectively soften the calluses as well as reduce any pain one may be feeling. One can get some over the counter. Some contain lactic acid to remove the callus tissue but are only available on prescription.
  • Pumice Stones, Iron files and callus removers: to gain some symptomatic relief, these are used to reduce the overall mass of the callus tissue. They are best used under the shower when the skin is still soft. This makes removal easy.
  • Other plantar callus treatments include foot baths, paraffin baths and scrub brushes. These help in reducing buildup.

One successful treatment has been done, calluses can be prevented by removing whatever it is that is contributing to addition of pressure. This relieves the pressure off the foot. In case even after this the plantar calluses are recurring, surgical removal may be necessary. This will relieve pressure from the longer bone and help it operate normally.

Plantar Callus Pictures

Severe plantar calluses can be unsightly as well as painful. They could make daily simple activities such as standing for some time and walking unbearable. These should however not be confused with plantar warts. Plantar callus pictures can help distinguish the two.

Foot callus or wart
Foot callus or wart?
Plantar callus picture
Foot callus picture

Natural Plantar Callus Removal

Other than the above mentioned treatment, one can make use of some natural remedies for plantar callus removal. These are things that are readily available from your kitchen. They include:

Baking soda: this is used in a warm water soak to get rid of the callus. Add 3 tablespoons of baking soda to warm water in a basin. Soak your legs in it for some time. Alternatively, make a paste by combining three parts of baking soda with one part of water. Massage this on the callus.

Chamomile tea:  Tis helps to distort the pH of the skin which helps in drying out sweaty feet. It also soothes the feet. Dilute some chamomile tea and soak your feet in it. The staining that results can be washed off using soap and water.

Cornstarch: To protect the callus from fungal infection, sprinkle cornstarch on your feet. This will protect the skin from breaking down as well as keep them dry.

Vinegar: Before going to sleep, soak a cotton ball in vinegar and secure it around the callus. This can be done using an adhesive tape or a band aid. This will leave the area soaked overnight. Rub off the area using a pumice stone in the morning.

Lemon juice and aspirin: Make a paste using five crushed aspirin tablets and a tablespoonful of lemon juice. Apply this on the foot and wrap it up using a plastic bag for ten minutes. The acidity will soften up the callus. Use a pumice stone to remove the callus after that.