You may have heard people refer to corns and calluses, but unless a doctor told you that you, too, have them, you might not know exactly what they are or how they should be treated.
Calluses can form on your skin anywhere there is consistent pressure. For example, guitar players, will form calluses on their fingertips as they continue to play. When calluses grow on your feet, they can be painful and most often form on the balls of your feet where the majority of pressure resides as a result of wearing modern footwear.
Dealing With Calluses
The Australian Podiatry Association states that “the best way to prevent the development of calluses and corns is to pay attention to your feet when you feel there is extra pressure on specific areas.”
Shoes are also important. “Properly fitting shoes are essential, especially if you spend long periods of time on your feet, and it is important that you never wear others people’s shoes.”
In terms of products, “a moisturiser used daily will help to keep your skin supple. But don’t forget that these problems are caused by pressure! If you feel you may be developing a callus or corn, or you already have one, the best thing to do is seek professional advice and treatment from your local podiatrist.”
Understanding Corns and Calluses
A callus is a thickening of the skin, which develops in response to repeated pressure or friction.
A corn is a build up of skin tissue when pressure is concentrated in a smaller area, and can be caused by tight shoes or a neighbouring hammertoe (bent toe) that is rubbing against the skin. There are many methods of corn removal, your podiatrist can help you with.
“If pressure becomes concentrated in a small area, a ‘hard’ corn may develop. Sometimes the pressure of the corn or callus may produce underlying inflammation, which can result in acute pain, swelling and redness.” (APA, 2018)
Corn and Callus Treatment
The best way to manage them is by avoiding any type of footwear that causes pressure on your feet, such as high heels. The Australian Podiatry Association states that “Over-the-counter remedies, such as corn paint or plasters, generally only treat the symptoms, not the underlying problem. They can also easily damage the healthy skin surrounding the corn if not used properly. Commercial preparations should only be used following professional advice. In people with poor circulation or with medical conditions such as diabetes, the use of medicated corn plasters can be very dangerous.”