by Ann
(Meridian, MS, USA)

I have had a callus on the bottom of my big toes for as long as I can remember. I'm 43. For the last year or so, every so often it feels like I have a small rock under the callus and it hurts to walk on it. Usually, within a day or so it seems to go away and often when I wake up I will notice that there is a bruise now on the side of my toe. Almost like maybe there was something that burst in the toe and leaks upward? I can never see anything under the callus. There is no discoloration directly under the callus. The bruise appears on the side of the toe in the same general area. The last couple of days I have had this pain but it seems worse than previous times. Its causing me to walk on the side of my foot to not move the toe. The big toe joint itself (although looking like it has a bunion on top) has no pain. It only hurts directly under the callus. The bottoms of my feet (like the ball of the foot) are completely soft and smooth so I know all the pressure when I walk is on the big toes. I wear only slight heels 1 1/2 inch occasionally (once a week for a few hours), and flat shoes mostly. I avoid soft soled shoes and sandals without backs as they seem to aggravate it, perhaps because my toes have to "hold on" a little more while walking. I'm having trouble finding any information online as most address the actual ball of the foot and my problem is on the big toe and not at the joint. Ideas? Recommendations on who to see in my area of the world? I live in Meridian, Mississippi. Thanks for any help or ideas you have!


I feel that your big toe issue is more of a mechanical issue. your big toe needs about 67 degrees of movement to propel you off the ground, if you dont have this then the body adapts your gait to get the degrees it needed. If you have heels then the big toe starts off bent and needs more movement. So sometimes you get a "thump" and then callus builds up under your big toe. Over time that hard skin can be very painful. In some instances it can form a corn under the hard skin and in other cases, if not treated, it can cause bleeding under the skin.

Sometimes the body will rock you over the joint inbetween the big toe ball and the tip of the big toe, technically your roll off the side of the toe. But where the pressure is hard skin follows. hard skin will continue to build up and the tissues underneath it will have blood squished away from them.

The hard skin needs to go, professionally and then they need to sort out your mechanics. They also need to advise you on how to keep the hard skin down so that you can treat it at home. Filing the hard skin at this point might be too little too late.

Hope that helps.

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About Dominic Hough

Hi. I'm Dominic. I treat patients every day at a local clinic. I am a trained Chiropodist and I care about prevention. I designed the website to help readers understand treat and even prevent issues from happening to their feet.