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I have calluses on the inside-side of the balls of my feet. I have tried a few pairs of trainers and still get persistent blisters under the calluses. I would like to minimise blistering whilst running.

Should I be reducing the size of the calluses to reduce blistering when running, or have they formed to reduce the effect of blistering, and getting rid of them would lead to increased blistering?

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Understanding Calluses

A callus is an area of thickened skin that develops where there's a lot of friction or pressure.

The outermost layer of your skin is made of dead skin cells. That may sound weird, but it's how your skin is built. These dead, flattened cells protect the living layers of skin underneath. So when there is extra friction or pressure on your skin, your body responds by creating more cells to join that outer, protective layer of dead skin.


How Blisters Form

A blister can form when rubbing causes layers of skin to separate from each other. Because your cells are always surrounded by a clear fluid, some of that fluid fills the space in the separation.

Do not pop your blisters. Since your blister is under a callus it will be particularly painful because you need to get through multiple layers of skin to drain it. This also exposes the blister to infection and related complications.


Treatment

  • Your focus should be on taking care of your skin in the area (keeping it clean, dry and soft)
  • Reducing the cause (the excess friction or pressure). Your blister will heal on it's own with time.
  • Finding a balance between keeping enough callus to protect you, and keeping it thin enough to not become a problem (it will take a little time to figure out what works best for you).

Here are some things you can do

  • If you plan on filing down
  • Soften your callus by taking a shower and then rubbing it with a warm washcloth and/or olive oil to soften skin.
  • To reduce pain put padding around the painful area, not directly on top of it or else you're just adding to the problem.
  • You can reduce friction by coating sore spots in bodyglide or gel deodorant.
  • You can wear low friction (non cotton socks). An athletic quick-dry fabric pair of socks under your normal socks.
  • You can use paper tape (this was done in a recent study consisting of ultramarathon runners)

With some time you can find out what regimen works best for you to maintain the optimal level of callus and eventually eliminate them completely.


https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27070112

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