There’s a reason so many people don’t like feet – a quick glance around come sandal season should tell you all you need to know.

Overgrown toe nails and chipped polish are just the start of it. Dead skin corns and cracked heels, can leave us with truly ugly looking – no wonder so many of us are embarrassed to get them out.

Although we often feel judged for the condition of our feet, solace can be found in the fact it has little to do with personal hygiene. This leads us to question on everyone’s lips:

What causes hard skin on feet?

We don’t expect to wear shoes every day and them show no sign of wear, so why do we expect our feet to stay in perfect condition? It’s easy to forget just how we rely on our feet to do, well, pretty much everything. From walking to the sofa to running a half marathon – everywhere we go, our feet come with us.

All that movement takes its toll on our soles, and that’s without factoring in other elements.

Possible causes of hard skin on feet

The main cause of hard skin(correctly known as a foot callus) on the soles of our feet is intermittent pressure. This means that anyone who moves is more likely than not to experience foot calluses at some point during their life.

For people that move more, including runners and those that engage in other sports, foot calluses become even more likely.

There are certain factors which increase the chances and severity of foot calluses. These include being overweight and also having naturally flat feet or high arches as these result in uneven pressure on the soles of our feet.

What causes corns on feet?

Corns are caused by friction, and are often a result of ill fitting shoes that repeatedly rub against skin.

Corns are much smaller than foot calluses. They are small bumps of hard, dead skin with a central core, and usually found on top of or between toes (particularly the 4th and 5th toes). They can be rather painful, especially if left untreated.

Causes of cracked heels

Cracked heels are perhaps the most unsightly of all. They occur when skin on the heels becomes very dry, hard and rigid. When pressure is put on the feet, the skin can’t give or expand, which causes it to crack.

Causes of dry skin, leading to cracked heels can include not moisturising, staying in the bath for too long, scrubbing feet dry and more.

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