Foot callus can have slightly variable presentations :

  • A thick and hard area of skin that is generally quite spread out.
  • An area of cracked, dry skin.
  • An elevation or a round bump on the skin on that area alone.
  • Sometimes can be associated with pain or tenderness.


It is important to differentiate a callus from a corn. Refer to corn for more details and explanations on corn and its treatment.


Wherever in our body, there are two nerve fibres that are mainly responsible for transmitting pain to our brain which we then feel. These are :

  • Aδ fibres
  • C fibres

The foot callus is basically like a shell projecting from increased forces and chronic pressure. Imagine taking a hard uneven substance and standing on it with a sensitive area of skin.

This is exactly what happens in foot callus pain. The callus is a pretty hard structure formed on the foot or anywhere on the body. But what is to protect the underlying tissues from the impinging effect of the callus. So this callus pain occurs when the formation of callus has exceeded its threshold to be tolerated.

In addition to this, the initial chronic or long-standing pressure or irritation that actually resulted in the formation of the callus in the first place would have caused a certain degree of tissue damage and the underlying inflammation can also stimulate pain.



This can be more appreciated in the case of a corn where the small surface area and increased thickness of it produce more pain as compared to the callus.

This can explain why peeling or shaving off a callus, thereby reducing its thickness feels comfortable and relieves pain.

But….then the question comes…


A callus formation is similar to a cause and effect phenomenon in action.

The cause is the trigger that initially led to the callus formation in the first place. The effect is the thickening of the skin as an adaptive mechanism to compensate for this increased irritation.

Cause and effect!!

Hence, as long as the trigger exists, the callus will also persist. And that is the reason a callus grows back. The myth that a callus will grow back faster once it is shaved or peeled, is false.

Once the callus is reduced or removed and the trigger is also negated, then the callus will not grow back.


Next up : Is your callus bad for you? How to treat callus?

Leave a Comment