One of the most common foot problems are calluses and corns. These are not always painful, though they are often annoying and unsightly. Fortunately, it’s fairly easy to treat corns and calluses, however it is a little trickier to stop them from developing in the first place.
It surprises people that foot orthotics can be used to successfully prevent corns and calluses. But by treating certain bio-mechanical pathologies, you can alleviate one of the key causes of calluses and corns. Find out more about this common foot condition and how you can treat and prevent it.
Corns and calluses
Calluses are thickened skin that occurs in areas subject to repeated pressure and friction. Guitar players, for instance, often have calluses on their finger tips from pressing down on the guitar strings. For many people calluses develop on the feet, in areas that are subject to abnormal pressure when walking or running, most commonly on the inside of the big toe and heel. Most calluses do not cause any pain, however if they become too thick they can cause discomfort through increasing pressure in the area.
Corns occur when a callus develops a mass of dead cells in its center. Corns are localised with a “core”, while calluses tend to be larger and more spread out, with no distinct border. Although corns have no nerve or blood supply they are usually painful. This is because corns are cone like in shape, when pressure through walking or footwear pushes up on the corn this causes it to push up into the surrounding healthy tissue – sort of like a prickle.
Calluses can usually be managed successfully at home, however corns are more difficult. To manage callus formation try rubbing a pumice stone or a foot paddle over the thick, hard areas, and moisturizing these areas regularly. A good supportive shoe will help to control biomechanical influences of the callus formation.
To alleviate the pain experienced with corns offloading the area with padding will help alot, in some instances toe serparators will also help. DO NOT by anymeans use “corn pads” – these have an acid in them that is non specific, meaning it will damage your healthy skin. In addition corn pads often do not get rid of the corn and leave you with wound to deal with also.
If home treatment is not effective, you should consult your podiatrist of health care professional. Calluses may not require treatment, but corns need to be taken care of to avoid further complications.
Cause and prevention
To prevent the occurrence of calluses and corns, you should protect your feet from abnormal pressure and friction. This will keep them from developing further and will allow you to remove them without recurrence.
Corns and calluses are caused by pressure and rubbing. Athletes are especially susceptible calluses because they exert more pressure to their feet than non-athletes. Those who wear poorly-fitting, flimsy shoes and people who have toe deformities sucha s hammer toe also tend to suffer from corns and calluses.
Certain foot and leg problems, such as overpronation, can cause too much pressure to be added to certain parts of the foot resulting in corns and calluses. Formthotics, which guide the step and help to control over pronation allow the body’s weight to be evenly dispersed across the foot reducing callus and corn formation.