Running and foot calluses go hand in hand. In fact, if you log in seriousmiles every week and have zero calluses, consider yourself one of the luckyones.Here’s the truth. Excessively large calluses aren’t just a problem ofappearance, but can also cause discomfort during exercise, especially whenrunning. They’re also pretty common among athletes from all trainingbackgrounds.In today’s post, we’ll go through what causes this skin build-up whilerunning, how to prevent calluses, and how to treat them.Sounds great? Let’s get started.The DefinitionAlso known as a corn, a callus is hardened skin that occurs in friction-proneareas, such as the bottom of the foot, or over bony projections.Often painless, calluses are your skin’s natural protective reaction ofpressure sites. The affected skin may start getting dry, flaky, and harderthan the rest of your skin.For most runners, this hardened mass of skin tends to build up in the heel,likely from the edge of the shoe rubbing repeatedly against the back of thefoot.What’s more? If you run in improper shoes, you might develop a callus along the outside of your big toe. Here’s the good news. There are many things you can do to lower your risk of developing calluses during running. Here are a few.The SymptomsIt’s easy to tell that you have a callus. Usually, the skin of a plantar callus isyellowish or gray. It may also feel flaky, tough, and dry. The skin may betender when direct pressure is applied to the region.Not a Bad ThingGetting a callus as a runner isn’t necessarily a bad thing. There’s actually abenefit of having calluses when pounding the pavement.This hardened skin buildup in areas prone to friction and rubbing againstyour shoes protect you from forming blisters.In essence, calluses protect your feet against blisters and sores whilerunning. Although calluses your our body’s natural reaction for protecting the skin,like all good things in life, too much of a good thing can do you more harmthan good.The PreventionHere are a few simple measures to help you prevent and manage painfulcalluses.Proper Running ShoesRunning in improper shoes can be a real problem for your feet, likelyresulting in numbness, blisters, and calluses. This is especially the case ifyour shoes are too narrow and tight in the forefoot, causing pinched-nervepain and calluses.If you’re prone to calluses, make sure your running shoes suit your feet andrunning style. They should be wide enough across the front, so there littleno friction or pinching.Good SocksProper running socks are also key. Go for sports socks made from polyester-cotton blend. Technical materials help reduce moisture better than regular cotton socks. High-performance socks are often designed with extra cushion in callus prone areas.What’s more? You can also reduce friction when running by wearing thicker socks that have extra padding in high-friction areas.Reduce FrictionAs previously stated, friction lies at the heart of the problem. Anything youcan do to reduce it is surely welcomed. Use a foot ointment that can help reduce friction while running, thus preventing calluses.You can also prevent calluses by putting a barrier between where the shoe isrubbing and your skin. Place the bandage inside of your running shoeswhere the shoes rub against your foot.Treating Calluses For RunnersIf your calluses are painful, you should take some measures to ease thepain. Here’s how to treat running-induced calluses by yourself.First, start by soaking your feet in soapy, warm water for 5 to 10 minutes.This helps soften the skin.Next, get a pumice stone or a callus shaver get it wet, then gently shave the dead skin, and the callus using circular or sideways motions with the pumice stone for two to three minutes.Stay safe, do not take too much skin off or else, you’ll wound your foot.Repeat this process many times per week or as needed.Apply moisturizing cream following the scrub sessions to keep the areasoft.When to See A DoctorAlthough most cases of callus do not require medical attention, you need tohave it looked at by your doctor or podiatrist. The following scenariodeserves attention from a healthcare professional.\n\nThe callus is red, dry, and cracking. This may indicate chronic athlete foot.\n\n\nThe callus is chronic and recurring. Your sports-oriented physician may help you figure out why your calluses keep returning.\n\n\nIf you notice that your callus is warm to the touch, red, or particularly painful, seek medical attention. These red flags could signal an infection.\n\n\nThe callus is thick and painful. It should be treated by a sports-oriented physician.\n\n\nThe callus has clear fluid or pus discharge. This could indicate thatthe callus might be infected or ulcerated, thereby, requires medical attention.\n\n\nIf you have heart problems, diabetes, or circulatory problems, sufferingfrom any of these conditions makes it more likely for you to develop aninfection. If you have any of these conditions, check your feet for damage regularly.\n\nAbout the author:David Dack is an established fitness blogger and running expert. When he’s not training for his next marathon, he’s doing research and trying to help as many people as possible to share his fitness philosophy. Check his blog Runners Blueprint for more info.