The foot is perfectly designed to withstand the stress of normal walking and running. When the biomechanical forces on the foot are out of balance or excessive, certain parts of the foot begin developing a blister and then a callus in order to protect the internal tissues of the foot from those forces. The area becomes hardened and thickened, and is usually on the ball of the foot but may be anywhere on the foot – side of the big toe, on any of the toes, on the sides of the small toe, or on the heel. Cause There are several causes of calluses: • The foot anatomy is biomechanically incorrect, allowing stresses to accumulate in the foot. • The type of shoes worn is altering the distribution of the forces and compression of the foot during walking, standing, running and jumping. Treatment & Prevention The key to eliminating calluses is identifying where the excessive pressure is coming from on the foot. Is it from wearing high heels that place most of the body weight on the ball of the foot? If so, the treatment starts with wearing shoes that don’t alter the normal biomechanics of the foot. Is the callus resulting from the excessive compressive forces on the foot from obesity? In this case, the weight must come off – and the person will feel much better in many ways as a result. Is it because the foot is biomechanically altered due to flat feet, high arches, or overpronation? If so, then the addition of orthotic inserts, heel pads, cushioned arch supports, high heels inserts, or orthopedic shoes will be the answer. There are also orthotic inserts that act as shock absorbers and donut-shaped pads that may alleviate the pressure on the foot over the callus. All these changes that are addressed by attacking the root cause will prevent the callus from worsening. However, softening the callus with foot lotions and essential oils may help drastically to lessen them. Cutting the callus with a razor blade or filing it down with a nail file or foot file is not recommended because it can cause infection or even remove some important tissues Surgery is a last resort for calluses.