Corns and calluses on the surface of your feet can be a warning to pay better attention to your foot health. Specialists discuss corns and calluses simultaneously because both conditions are caused by your body protecting your feet from friction or pressure. Likewise, the same treatment and prevention methods help both pesky skin problems.
Today’s blog will discuss the preventative measures you can take to ward off calluses and corns and the treatments a chiropodist can perform.
Corns vs. Calluses
The causes of calluses and corns are similar, but it’s important to note a few key points.
- The term “corn” derives from their appearance as round, hardened skin resembling a piece of corn. Calluses encompass a large, rough and thick area of the foot.
- Corns usually appear on the top or side of the toe. Calluses can spring up anywhere on the foot that bears weight, like the heel, big toe, ball of the foot and side of the foot.
- Both conditions are not usually painful but may feel tender if you continuously walk on them. Corns may feel slightly more painful since they’re a more concentrated area.
To read more about calluses and how they form, click here.
To read more about corns and how they form, click here.
How to Prevent Corns and Calluses
Prevention of calluses and corns starts with the footwear you choose. Shoes with too much or too little overall room can be a risk factor: When shoes fit loosely, the foot slides forward excessively, creating friction and leading to corn and callus development. When shoes are too tight, consistent pressure will lead to the same result as loose-fitting shoes. That’s why it’s essential to look for shoes that properly fit your feet and leave enough room in the toe box (especially important for corns).
Sometimes, biomechanical issues can make a person especially vulnerable to corns and calluses. In these cases, custom orthotics may be helpful as they correct any biomechanical abnormalities that can be causing excess friction and pressure on parts of the foot. Further, they add an extra layer of defence between your foot and friction via the arch support they provide. Orthotics also help manage hammertoes, a pre-existing risk factor for corns.
Treatment Options for Corns and Calluses
In general, non-painful calluses and corns can go away independently with footwear modifications. But there are occasions when chiropody and podiatry services must enter the picture. For instance, if you notice inflammation, redness and intense pain in the affected area, you should seek treatment. It is extremely important to never attempt to remove a callus or corn from home!
Furthermore, those with diabetes should ensure a chiropodist regularly tends to their corns and calluses because diabetes prevents them from healing properly. In addition, diabetic neuropathy can prevent the patient from noticing if corns and calluses are getting worse and entering ulcer territory.
Chiropodists can remove thick calluses during a medical pedicure. This is also a preventative treatment as the entire treatment process strengthens the skin’s protective barrier. Chiropodists can also shave down corns and calluses with sterilized tools before applying the right creams or ointments to ensure skin repair. In addition, they can recommend medical-grade products like corn foot pads and foot devices to reduce friction.