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Hardness in the feet or hyperkeratosis. What are they, how to treat them and how to prevent them

Popularly known as "hard" or "calluses", and more technically as “hyperkeratosis”, The hardness are a very common injury feet skin, but…


Do you know everything about them? Do you know how they can be treated and eliminated?





Our calluses or hyperkeratosis They are a thickening of the outermost layer of the skin of the foot due to an increase in dead and flaking cells.


They are a mechanism for protecting the skin of the foot against pressure or continuous friction.




  • hardened skin no sharp edges
  • Color yellowish (due to the accumulation of keratin)
  • rough texture to the touch
  • Dryness
  • Generally do not cause pain or discomfort



When this injury grows into deeper layers of the skin and has the most defined edges will be called plantar heloma. In the article “Plantar heloma. Causes and treatments” We tell you all about this alteration of the skin and the types that exist according to the area of ​​​​appearance.


CAUSES. Why do calluses or hyperkeratosis occur?


BAD TREAD. Many times the hardness appear in the same places. The reason is simple: there is a wrong way to step.


We do not support and distribute the load and pressure on the foot well, which is why there are areas that are always affected.


As we explain in the next point of “Treatments”, a biomechanical study of the tread It will be essential to correct it.


- FOOTWEAR. El inappropriate shoes with a narrow toe, as well as the heeled shoesThey encourage the appearance of calluses as they press on the foot and fingers.


SOCKS. If we do not use this garment when we put on the shoes, the skin of the foot will rub directly against the rigid material of the shoe, thus causing hardness. The ill-fitting or wrinkled socks They can also enhance their appearance.


DEHYDRATION La foot dehydration It is a factor that also helps the presence of hyperkeratosis. It is very common, especially in the heel areaIn the article “Dry, cracked heels?” We tell you all about this skin lesion.


- DEFORMITY. If the patient has a foot deformity, how are the Juanetes o claw, hammer, or mallet toes, will also be prone to suffering them, since produce more pressure between the skin and the shoe.



TREATMENT. How to treat this skin lesion?


Importantly there are pathologies that can be confused with calluses, and if, for example, we treat at home a plantar wart (caused by the Human Papilloma Virus) as if it were a hardness, We worsen the situation and spread the infection, since they are two pathologies of different treatment.


Although many people think otherwise, the treatment for the removal of calluses is painless for the patient.


The specialist will most appropriate treatment according to each case. The most common are:


PEDICURE. This podiatric treatment It is the most frequent to solve hardness. through the delamination the accumulation of dead cells in the skin of the foot can be eliminated.



BIOMECHANICAL STUDY OF THE GAIT. with a complete biomechanical study of the tread, and thanks to the pressure platform, you will be able to know the pressure points when walking and, with some custom templates, rebalancing pressures and power unload those points of maximum pressure of the foot to prevent the appearance of plantar hyperkeratosis in the short and long term.



CALLICIDES. Its use to treat calluses, Calluses o helomas, among others, is totally discouraged by podiatristsCallicides do not eliminate the cause of the problem, but they generate a wound y burn on the skin which aggravates the situation. In the following photo you can see the foot of a patient who came to our consultation with the skin macerated and burned by using a callicide. You can get more information about its use in our post “Callicidas, are they recommended?”.



RECOMMENDATIONS AND TIPS. Specialists in podiatry will also give guidelines to the patient when it comes to choose the right footwear according to the way you step and walk, taking into account other pathologies that may affect you (diabetes, deformities, poor circulation, etc.)


SURGERY. Calluses do not need surgical intervention. This treatment will be last option, unless the specialist determines it.


PREVENTION. How to prevent the appearance of calluses?

Go regularly to the podiatrist is essential to avoid this injury but, in our house we can also try to prevent it if we follow these guidelines:


- SUITABLE FOOTWEAR. It is advisable to buy a shoe having certain characteristics for prevent it from harming our foot and causing calluses. The most important ones are:


  • wide last to prevent pressure on the fingers.
  • Input stability and with rigid buttresses to hold the foot well, in addition to avoid thin soles.
  • Made with quality materials and breathable fabrics.
  • Avoid wearing heels (no more than 3-4 centimeters)
  • Don't always wear the same shoe alternate using different types so that friction does not occur in the same areas.



- PUMICE. Use the pumice stone to exfoliate dead skin will help prevent the appearance of calluses. It is important to do it in a superficial, and in case of any injury or irritation go to the specialist.

It is not a treatment, but a complement.


In the article "Pumice. 6 tips to use it on your feet correctly” we tell you all about it.


- HYGIENE. Wash them, and above all dry them thoroughly, is a daily habit that must be fulfilled in our hygiene routine.


HYDRATION. Proper hydration of the foot will help brake the presence of these lesions. The U20 Podoactive cream It is perfect for daily use and very effective for combat dryness.



In short, although calluses or hyperkeratosis are a very common problem among people, not for that we should downplay it.


They are not serious, but when these lesions appear on the feet they are indicating that something is wrong (be it the shoes, the way of walking, etc.)

Do you think you may have calluses or hyperkeratosis? At Podoactiva we can help you. Consult your nearest Podoactiva clinic HERE or contact us at 974 231 280 or through info@podoactiva.com.

Christina Benito

Podoactiva podiatrist


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    Posted at 17: 05h, 14 August Reply

    My daughter has problems
    My daughter has foot problems and I think it matches your description of HYPERKERATOSIS
    I would like to request a medical interview

    • partners
      Posted at 17: 49h, 14 August Reply

      Good afternoon Edward. For

      Good afternoon Edward. To locate the origin of the pain suffered by her daughter, it would be advisable for one of our professionals to see her case in consultation. If she wants it, pYou can find your nearest Podoactiva clinic and contact information at the following link, where you will see a map with all the centers: https://goo.gl/4H2V0d A greeting.

  • Francisco de Haro Fernandez
    Posted at 17:53 a.m., January 05 Reply

    Good page, with very good information to clarify doubts about a very common foot problem

    • partners
      Posted at 17:13 a.m., January 11 Reply

      Thank you Francis for your comment! All the best.

  • Amelia Amador
    Posted at 03:21 a.m., February 22 Reply

    Excellent page, very good information. Thank you very much

    • partners
      Posted at 13: 55h, 01 March Reply

      Good afternoon Emily. Thank you very much for her comment. It is a pleasure to put our grain of sand. All the best.

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