Corns and calluses appear on areas that are repeatedly exposed to pressure. These are characterized with numb or painful thickenings of the skin and can be very annoying.
Think about how tight you hold your pen and how frequently you write or type or the long hours of walking that tires your feet inside your fitted stilettos.
These are the reasons why they commonly appear on your fingers, toes, and heels. Not wearing socks and playing instruments like guitar, violin, and harp as well as using hand tools a lot (i.e. in the case of mechanics) are also other causes why corns and calluses are formed.
Other signs and symptoms of corns and calluses include bump on the skin, hard and thick patch, flaky or dry skin, and tenderness of pain in the affected area.
- 1 The Difference Between Corns and Calluses
- 1.1 Risk Factors
- 1.2 Common Treatments for Corns and Calluses
- 1.3 Some More Useful Tips
The Difference Between Corns and Calluses
Corns and calluses are often interchanged. These two are different and you must learn to identify each of it.
- Corns are smaller than calluses and are characterized by a hard center that is surrounded by inflamed skin.
- Corns usually develop on parts of the feet that don‚Äôt bear weight ‚Äì top and sides of the toes and even in between your toes. Sometimes, they can be found in weight-bearing areas.
- Corns can be painful to touch or press.
- Calluses aren‚Äôt usually painful.
- Calluses are frequently formed on the soles, the heels, and the balls of the feet, the palms of the hands, and the knees.
- Calluses vary in size and shape, but are definitely larger than corns.
Corns and calluses are skin conditions that sometimes call for medical attention especially in the case of diabetics who can develop open ulcer once they leave these bumps unattended. Your risk factor for corns and calluses increases with the following:
This is when your toe curls like a claw, resulting to friction between your toes and your shoes.
This is an abnormal, bony bump that suddenly forms on the joint of the base of your big toe.
3. Other Foot Deformities
Conditions like bone spur and other also cause consistent rubbing of your feet inside your shoes.
Common Treatments for Corns and Calluses
If you want these annoying and sometimes painful corns and calluses to go away so you can be more comfortable using your feet and your hands, you have to be tested and diagnosed first.
The doctor will have a look at your hands and feet to rule out other possible causes of corns and calluses like cysts and warts. He may also recommend an X-ray to know if the formation of corns and calluses are caused by physical deformities.
Now after being properly assessed, the doctor will recommend you the right kind of treatment, which can be any of the following:
1. Shoe Inserts
If foot deformity has been diagnosed, you may be recommended to wear and orthotics. These are customized padded shoe inserts, which can prevent corns and calluses from recurring.
2. Removal of Excess Skin
The doctor or podiatrist may also trim down excess skin or cut out a huge corn using a scalpel.
3. Medication to Reduce Risk for Infection
To reduce the risks of developing infection, the doctor may also recommend taking antibiotic ointments.
4. Callus-removing Medication
Salicylic acid is the most common content of most callus removers. During clinic visit, your doctor may apply a patch on your corns or calluses containing 40% salicylic acid.
He will also advise you how much and how often you will use it and instruct you to use a nail file, emery board or pumice stone to smoothen out the skin first before applying a new patch.
This salicylic patch also comes in gel form or liquid form, which is good for removing larger affected areas.
This medication works by softening the top layer of the dead skin, making it easier to remove. This should not hurt once applied on your corns or calluses.
However, you should be ware about using this kind of medication. Some health conditions like diabetes, peripheral neuropathy, peripheral arterial ¬† disease, and others which all causes blood circulation problem should give you a red light in using salicylic acid.
You should also not apply it if you have fragile skin and if your corns and calluses are cracked. All these increase the risks for skin, nerve, and tendon damage.
In rare occasions, your doctor may also suggest that you undergo surgery to be able to correct bone deformities that cause calluses and corns.
Some More Useful Tips
While the appearance of corns and calluses in any part of your body is irritating, you must not try to deal with it yourself. Yes, you may try proven home remedies but to certain extent.
If you yourself know that you have delicate skin and that you have underlying health conditions that hamper corns and calluses medications, it is always best to consult a medical practitioner. Remember, you are at higher risks for certain infections when you try to alleviate it yourself.
Other things you must keep in mind include:
- Not cutting your corns or calluses because you might infect yourself. Instead, you can use a nail file or a pumice stone but make sure that you have damped the affected area with water to avoid scraping your skin.
- There are tons of over-the-counter medications for corn and callus treatment, but when you aren‚Äôt sure which one is the right for your case, it is best to consult your doctor or the shop‚Äôs resident pharmacist.
- Once your corn has been infected, you will notice that it oozes pus. This should already warn you not to touch it further or you will just spread the infection throughout your entire hand or foot. In this case, it is recommended that you visit your GP so he can prescribe the right course of antibiotics for you.
Lastly, avoid applying constant pressure to parts of your body that are more prone to the formation of corns and calluses or if you can‚Äôt, might as well wear protective gears like fabric gloves, sock, and shoe inserts among others.