Corns and Calluses: Causes, Symptoms, Prevention, Treatment

Originally posted on September 21, 2022 @ 5:44 pm

When the skin tries to defend itself from pressure or friction, thick, hardened layers of skin called corns and calluses form.

What Is Corn? What Is a Callus?

Although calluses and corns can be bothersome, your body develops them to guard against damage to vulnerable skin. There is a common conflation between calluses and corns.

The sides of the toes and the bottom of the feet are frequently where corns develop since they are pressure areas. Painful ones are possible.

A small area of thickened, dead skin with a central core is what is known as a “hard corn. Typically found between the fourth and fifth toes, a soft corn has a considerably thinner surface. The term “seed corn” refers to a small, discrete callus that, if it is located on the portion of the foot that bears weight, may be quite sensitive.

Seed corns typically develop on the bottoms of the feet, and some medical professionals think that blocked sweat ducts are to blame for this condition.

It is not painful to develop calluses, which are thickenings of the skin’s epidermis. They may form on the chin of a violinist as well as on the wrists, feet, or any other area where there is frequent friction. Calluses can come in a variety of forms, just like corns. When hands or feet are repeatedly rubbed against each other, the common callus typically develops. The sole of the foot has a callus called a plantar.

corns and calluses
corns and calluses

Causes of Corns and Calluses?

The majority of foot corns and calluses are brought on by ill-fitting shoes, but some can result from incorrect walking technique. The most detrimental footwear is high-heeled footwear. Women are four times as likely to have foot issues than men are because they put pressure on the toes.

Corns and calluses can also happen if your feet aren’t normal or if you wear shoes or sandals without socks, which causes friction on your feet. Calluses on the plantar surface can develop from rubbing or pressure.

Consult a doctor if you or your child develops a callus with no obvious source of pressure since it might be a wart or the result of an object, such as a splinter, being lodged under the skin. When feet are inside, especially in a damp environment, germs can flourish. Staph infections can start when bacteria enter corns through skin cracks and cause the infected corn to ooze fluid or pus.

What are the Symptom of Corns and Calluses?

Various corns and calluses can be identified in a variety of ways, as follows:

  • A callus is a patch of compacted, dead skin anywhere on the body that is prone to friction. Calluses come in a variety of forms, each with their own common name.
  • On top of a toe or on the outside of the little toe, there is a small area of densely packed hard skin called a “hard corn.”
  • Reddened, delicate skin is referred to as “soft corn.” It can be found in between the toes and has a thin, smooth core.
  • On the heel or ball of the foot, a seed corn is a circle of dead skin that resembles a plug and is frequently uncomfortable.
  • A callus on the foot’s plantar surface is referred to as a plantar callus.
corns and calluses

If you have a corn or callus, contact your doctor right away.

  • It bleeds when you cut a corn or callus. Infection might spread through the skin’s tears.
  • An infected or ulcerated corn will exude pus or clear fluid. Urgent medical intervention is required for both situations.
  • Having diabetes, heart disease, or other circulatory issues is a condition that you can also develop. Infection is a serious risk you face.

Prevention of corns and Calluses?

Consider trying these things:

  • The best way to prevent corns and calluses on the feet is to have both feet measured by a professional at the shoe store, and to only purchase shoes that fit properly.
  • Due to the possibility of modest differences in size, make sure the shoe’s breadth and length are appropriate for each foot. Your longest toe should be spaced from the front of the shoe by up to a half inch. It’s a sign that your shoes are excessively tight if you can’t move your toes in them.
  • In the evening, when feet are normally the most swollen, go shoe shopping.
  • Refrain from wearing high heels and shoes with sharp tips. Women who must wear these shoes at work can relieve some of the strain on their feet by strolling to the office in comfortable athletic shoes. As much as you can, try to lower your heel height.
  • Replace or have your shoes fixed regularly. Worn linings can rub against your skin and harbor bacteria, and worn soles don’t protect your feet as well when you walk on hard surfaces.
  • Heel bone pressure is increased on worn heels. If the heels or soles of your shoes wear unevenly, talk to an orthopedist or podiatrist about corrective shoes or insoles.
  • Make sure the shape of your shoes allows enough area to support your hammertoes, or toes that are buckled under.
  • Wear protective gloves if you use tools, since calluses can develop on the hands
corns and calluses
corns and calluses

Treatment of Corns Calluses

Although calluses are generally not harmful to your health, if they are giving you any pain, you should get them checked out right away. But corns can become infected with staph and start to produce pus. It’s crucial to get them examined as soon as possible!

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The majority of the time, Advanced Foot and Ankle may treat your corns and calluses with conservative methods, such as cushioning the affected area, trimming to alleviate discomfort, and offloading (lowering pressure on the condition) if required. Topical medicines are also available to slow or stop the regrowth of corns and calluses. Before using any home remedies, you should visit a podiatrist.

Corns and calluses that are unresponsive to non-surgical treatments can be treated surgically the same day. Never cut or trim your corns or calluses by yourself.

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