Calluses and corns

What causes calluses and corns, and what are they?

When we walk or stand, our body weight is distributed between the ball of the foot, where the skin is thicker and can take pressure, and the heel of the foot. Some skin areas thicken and develop corns and calluses as a defensive reaction to the friction of skin rubbing against a bone, shoe, or the ground when this pressure becomes extreme.

The sole of the foot has an extended patch of thickened, hard skin called a callus (or callosity). Typically, it is a sign of a deeper issue like a physical malformation, a specific gait pattern, or the wrong footwear. Some people's skin types naturally predispose them to developing calluses. Elderly persons typically have less fatty tissue in their skin, which might contribute to the development of calluses on the foot's ball.

Corns have a central core that may produce discomfort if it pushes on a nerve. They are brought on by pressure or friction over bony surfaces, such as a joint. There are five main varieties of corn, with "hard" and "soft" corns being the most popular:

  • The most typical kind of hard corns is a small region of concentrated hard skin that can be as small as a pea, usually contained within a larger area of thickened skin or callus. This could be a sign that the feet or toes aren't working properly.
  • Soft corns are similar to hard corns in development, but they have a yellowish, rubbery appearance and develop between the toes when the skin is wet from sweat or improper drying.
  • On the bottom of the foot, seed corns are microscopic corns that typically appear single or in clusters. They are typically painless.
  • Vascular/neurovascular corns are corns that contain both blood vessels and nerve fibers. If cut, they may be excruciatingly painful and may bleed heavily.
  • Fibrous corns are different from other types of corns in that they develop after corns have been present for a long time and are more securely linked to the deeper tissues. They might even hurt.

What therapies are available?

Cutting corn by yourself is not recommended, especially if you have diabetes or are elderly. To lessen perspiration retention between the toes in soft corns, a podiatrist will be able to minimize the volume of the corn and administer astringents.

Before utilizing any products that are sold in stores, always seek the advice of a podiatrist. Use corn plasters with extreme caution since they include acids that can burn the healthy skin surrounding the corn and cause major issues like infection. Home treatments, such as wrapping your toes in lamb's wool, could be harmful. People with diabetes, circulatory issues, or weakened immune systems shouldn't attempt to self-treat and should instead seek a podiatrist's guidance.

A podiatrist will be able to install corrective appliances for long-term treatment, apply cushioning or insoles to ease pressure, or remove corns gently. Your podiatrist can also use soft padding, strapping, or correction devices that are simple to fit into your shoes to eliminate calluses, alleviate pain, and redistribute pressure. The skin should then revert to its pre-treatment condition.

Padding for the foot's ball can help elderly persons make up for any loss of natural padding. Emollient creams prevent the formation of calluses and increase the skin's natural suppleness. Depending on your needs, your podiatrist will be able to advise you on the appropriate skin preparations.

To ease pressure on the affected area, put on more supportive or wider-fitting shoes like DrLuigi medical footwear.

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