Foot care: What are calluses and corns?
Corns and calluses on the feet are thickened areas of skin that can become painful. They are caused by excessive pressure or rubbing (friction) on the skin. The common cause is poorly fitting shoes.
A person who is qualified to diagnose and treat foot disorders (a podiatrist) can cut away (pare) corns and calluses and can advise on footwear, shoe insoles and padding to prevent recurrences.
A corn is a small area of skin which has become thickened due to pressure on it. A corn is roughly round in shape. Corns press into the deeper layers of skin and can be painful.
Hard corns commonly occur on the top of the smaller toes or on the outer side of the little toe. These are the areas where poorly fitted shoes tend to rub most.
Soft corns sometimes form in between the toes, most commonly between the fourth and fifth toes. These are softer because the sweat between the toes keeps them moist. Soft corns can sometimes become infected.
A callus is larger and broader than a corn and has a less well-defined edge. These tend to form on the underside of your foot (the sole). They commonly form over the bony area just underneath your toes. This area can take much of your weight when you walk. They are usually painless but painful.
What causes corns and calluses?
The small bone of the toes and feet are broader and lumpier near to the small joints of the toes. If there is extra rubbing (friction) or pressure on the skin overlying a small rough area of bone, this will cause the skin to thicken. This may lead to corns or calluses forming.
The common causes of rubbing and pressure are tight or poorly fitting shoes which tend to cause corns on the top of the toes and side of the little toe. Also, too much walking or running which tends to cause calluses on the sole of the feet. Corns and calluses are more likely to develop if you have very prominent bony toes, thin skin, or any deformities of the toes or feet which cause the skin to rub more easily inside shoes.
What are the treatments for corns and calluses?
If you develop a painful corn or callus it is best to get expert advice from a person qualified to diagnose and treat foot disorders-see The Podiatrist (a podiatrist – previously called a chiropodist). You should not cut corns yourself, especially if you are elderly or have diabetes.
Trimming (paring down):
The thickened skin of a corn or callus will be pared down by The Podiatrist by using a scalpel blade. The pain is usually much reduced as the corn or callus is pared down and the pressure on the underlying tissues eased. Sometimes, repeated or regular trimming sessions are needed. Once a corn or callus has been pared down, it may not return if you use good footwear.
See The Podiatrist for all your foot problems.
Posted on July 31, 2013, in Contact a Podiatrist, What is a Podiatrist, Your feet and tagged arch pain, arch support, arch supports, auckland podiatrist, auckland podiatrists, bunions, Callus, Caron Orelowitz, chiropodists, corn removers, corns, cutting nails, feet, Foot, foot creams, foot inserts, foot orthotics, foot pain, hard skin, Health, Nails, orthotics, Podiatrist, podiatrist remuera, podiatry, podiatry new zealand, pressure, remuera podiatrist, remuera podiatrists, scalpel blades, Scholl's foot care, tissue, toe pains, toes, your feet. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.