CALLUSES AND CORNS

What is it?

Calluses and corns are skin problems often found on the feet. A callus is a thick, hardened skin on the bottom of the foot that protects the skin from too much friction. They are often found on the ball of the foot, the heel and under the big toe.

A corn forms when two toes rub together, causing thicker skin with inflamed tissue underneath. Corns between the toes have soft cores, while those on the top of a toe are hard corns.

Both of these skin growths are caused by excess pressure and friction and can result from overuse, from an abnormal gait, and by wearing shoes that are either too tight or too loose.

Symtoms

A callus will show hardened, thickened skin and may appear as a bump. The skin can be dry, flaky or scaly. Walking on a callus can be painful as they grow large.

Whether a hard or soft corn, you will notice hardened, raised bumps that can be painful when pressed.

Treatment

Home treatment can be effective for corns and calluses that are not painful:

  • Soak feet in warm, soapy water and then rub the thickened areas with a pumice stone or foot file.
  • Apply a moisturizing lotion or cream every night and cover with a loose sock.
  • Add over-the-counter moleskin or pads – not with salicylic acid – directly to the callus or corn to ease pressure.

Professional podiatric treatment can help ease the symptoms and eliminate the skin growth.  We will shave the surface of a callus to relieve pressure. An exfoliant such as a cream with urea can remove dead skin. An oral antibiotic can clear up any sign of infection.

If we determine that your callus or corn is caused by your gait or foot structure, custom-fitted orthotics can greatly ease the friction and pressure.

Prevention

You can prevent corns and calluses by wearing well-fitting shoes with lots of toe room. Smart footwear can limit pressure and friction. Keep feet dry by wearing synthetic socks.