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Family Physician

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Can lack of blood circulation cause hard and painful calluses on the feet?

Answered by
Dr. Antoneta Zotaj

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 2247 Questions

Posted on Mon, 10 Sep 2018 in General Health
Question: I am on my feet 5-7hrs a day. Within the pas few years, I have developed a huge callus on the bottom of my foot that has turned very hard and now my toes feel numb & the top of my foot is sore by those toes. It’s happening to my other side of my foot too (where I also have a small callus) but not as bad. And when I sleep at night, sometimes I get sharp pains in my foot. Is it circulation?
Answered by Dr. Antoneta Zotaj 41 minutes later
Brief Answer:

Some explanations given and possible causes.

Detailed Answer:


The callus in the foot generally cause only pain locally and should not be causing pain in distance.

Pain in distance from the callus seems to not be directly related with the callus.

The fact that you have pain and numbness on the toes might be caused by several reasons.

1. One is the same reason that caused you the callus might also cause the changes in your toes.

Especially if your shoes are not comfortable or are tight at the toe area might cause problems with the pain and numbness.

There locally due to local trauma that might happen if you stand long.

2. Sometimes numbness is a direct neurological sign which might be caused by compression on the nerve.

Sometimes might be due to back problems even though it is very rare to be on both sides.

Vitamin deficiency might cause numbness also especially the B12.

And some people have problems with it even though they have good balanced diets because in some patients they do have problem absorbing it from the food.

3. Circulation might cause problems with the feet also.

But seems very unlikely to be the cause of your symptoms as it generally causes more problems in the leg.

With varicose veins and or swelling, toes are rarely affected by it.

Mostly veins are the reason for these.

Arteries would be expected to be effected mostly in men around their 60-ies that smoke a lot and in this case pain would be related to walking.

(we call leg ischemia, like the heart ischemia that is worse on walking and quiets on stopping).

4. Diabetes might cause problems with the peripheral nerves also so make sure that if you have not had a sugar test in the last 2 years to have one to rule it out.

As for the callus you will need treatment for it.

Sometimes local patches with salicilic acid might be enough in some patients but some will need removal of the callus by a doctor.

Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if I can assist you further.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
Follow up: Dr. Antoneta Zotaj 56 minutes later
What do you recommend for the pain?
Should I seek medical help?
I haven’t had a sugar test recently, what other symptoms should I look for if it’s diabetes related?
What is your diagnosis?

I also mentioned that I have pain on the top of my foot to the touch & from time to time sharp pains that come & go. Could this all be caused by wearing high heels & boots?
Answered by Dr. Antoneta Zotaj 9 hours later
Brief Answer:

Pain from local trauma (standing for long) is the most likely cause- more details on treatment.

Detailed Answer:


It is always best to have an examination to know for sure the cause of the pain but some hints are:

- If the pain on the foot is worse when you move the foot and also when you touch it than it is a local pain meaning it is due to local trauma or muscles being stressed.

The high heals and boots can cause local pain and the best way to confirm if it is from them or not is to start to wear comfortable shoes for a few days and see if you notice a difference.

If the pain is not effected by touch or movement but is there and also associated with numbness than a nerve pain can be considered.

In this case you might also get back pains time after time.

To my understanding it is more likely these are local pains due to shoes and trauma from standing long.

Taking Ibuprofen after food every 6 hours and also trying to wear comfortable shoes should help.

When you go home you should try to elevate your legs for a while to reduce swelling and also putting them in warm water for 20 minutes afterwards might help relax the muscles that are sore.

Diabetes in most patients is asymptomatic, meaning patients should not wait for specific symptoms to have the test but have the test routinely.

To conclude I would say:

1. By what I hear it seems more likely that all the pains you feel are related to the local trauma by the shoes from long standing.

2. To help Ibuprofen is good and also try to wear comfortable shoes, especially because you need to stand for so long.

3. Elevate your feet as much as you can during the day to reduce the swelling as standing long makes the leg swell and the pain worse.

4. Put the feet in warm water every time at the end of the day to relax the muscles and help with pain.

5. If the pain is not effected by touch or movement of the foot than a distant cause of it like nerve pain might be considered and a visit with a doctor is needed.

A visit with a doctor is needed also if the above measures do not help enough.

6. Please have the sugar test done even if you do not have other complaints as diabetes is asymptomatic in most of the patients.

Hope I have answered your query.

Take care

Dr. Zotaj Antoneta, General & Family Physician
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Kampana

The User accepted the expert's answer

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