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Callus and corns

April 20, 2017

Corns and calluses

Corns and calluses are areas of hard, thickened skin that develop as a result of excessive pressure or friction.

Corns are small circles of thick skin that often develop on the tops and sides of toes or on the sole of the foot. Calluses are larger, less well-defined, rough areas of skin that are often yellowish in colour. They often develop on the parts of the foot that take the most weight, such as the ball of the foot.

If they cause discomfort, corns and calluses can be treated by a podiatrist, who can cut away the thickened skin. Wearing comfortable shoes that fit properly may also help.

Calluses develop when the skin rubs against something, such as a bone, a shoe or the ground. They often form over the ball of your foot because this area takes most of your weight when you walk.

Activities that put repeated pressure on the foot, such as running or walking barefoot, can cause calluses to form. Athletes are particularly susceptible to them.

Other possible causes of calluses include:

·        Dry skin

·        Reduced fatty padding – elderly people have less fatty tissue in their skin

Treating corns

The podiatrist will be able to treat corns or badly callused areas using a sharp blade to remove the thickened area of skin. This is painless and should help reduce pain and discomfort. Removing corns will give total relief but they may return unless the cause of the pressure is removed. A corn therefore is a symptom of an underlying problem. The podiatrist can also provide advice on self-care and prescribe special insoles.

Preventing corns and calluses

Follow the advice below to help stop any hard dry skin developing:

·        Dry your feet thoroughly after washing them and apply a special moisturising foot cream (not body lotion).

·        Use a pumice stone or foot file regularly to gently remove hard skin. If you use a pumice stone, make sure it dries completely between uses and doesn't harbour bacteria. 

·        Wear comfortable footwear that fits properly. Always shop for shoes in the afternoon, because your feet swell as the day goes on. This means shoes that fit in the afternoon will be comfortable. You should be able to move your toes inside the shoe with a small gap between the front of the shoe and your longest toe. If possible, avoid wearing heels as they increase the pressure on the front of your feet.

·        Don't put up with foot pain as if it's normal. The podiatrist is a foot specialist They'll be able to investigate the underlying cause of your foot pain.


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