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CAN CALLUSES BE A BENEFIT?

Before you take a pumice stone to your foot calluses just because they're unsightly, you might want to consider the idea that they are actually nature's shoes. That's one of the messages from a new study suggesting that in certain ways, walking on callused feet can be better for you than the modern luxury of cushioned shoes. Researchers found that calluses offer the foot protection while you're walking around, without compromising tactile sensitivity -- or the ability to feel the ground. That's in contrast to cushioned shoes, which provide a thick layer of protection, but do interfere with the sense of connection to the ground.
 
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Dr. Jane Andersen
 
 
That comes with some big caveats, though: People with certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, should neither go barefoot nor let calluses build up, said Jane Andersen, DPM. She's a podiatrist and chair of the communications committee for the American Podiatric Medical Association. People with nerve damage or poor blood circulation to the feet -- from diabetes or other medical conditions -- should see a foot doctor regularly and, if needed, have calluses trimmed, Andersen said. Calluses can lead to ulcers in those cases. People with nerve-damaged feet also need to wear shoes, she said. That reduced sensation means they may not notice any cuts or other injuries they'd get while walking barefoot. Beyond that, Andersen noted, barefoot humans of the past were not running around on hot asphalt and other modern surfaces.
 
Source: Amy Norton, HealthDay [6/26/19]
 
Courtesy of Barry Block, editor of PM News.
 
Brought to you by Doctor John A. Hardy, owner of Toronto's foot clinic, Academy Foot and Orthotic Clinics.

 

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