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Calluses
A callus is an area of hard, thickened skin that can occur in any area of increased pressure or friction on the foot. While many consider them a skin problem, they actually are more often a problem related to the function of the foot and bony prominence. When left untreated, calluses can lead to severe inflammation under the skin and even wounds that may become infected.

Calluses form from repeated friction and pressure, as the shoe (or ground) rubs against a bony prominence (bone spur) on the toe or foot. The skin thickens in response to this pressure. Small amounts of friction or pressure over long periods of time cause a corn or callus. A great deal of friction or pressure over shorter periods of time can cause blisters or open sores. Calluses typically develop under a metatarsal head (the long bone that forms the ball of the foot) that is carrying more than its fair share of the body weight, usually due to it being dropped down or due to its longer length.

Calluses are best treated by removing the pressure or friction that is causing them-treat the underlying reason for the problem. Calluses should not be treated with medicated corn removers or medicated pads without medical supervision since this can damage the healthy skin and create more serious problems. People with diabetes or poor blood flow (peripheral vascular disease) should not attempt to treat calluses themselves as this can lead to serious infections and wounds that are difficult to heal.

If you need assistance relieving calluses, contact our office. Calluses can be trimmed and comfortable padding applied to these painful areas.

How to prevent calluses:
  • Only wear shoes that have been fitted to your foot (your foot may increase in width and length over time as the ligaments in the feet relax and you may not have the same size foot today that you had many years ago)
  • Wear thick socks and avoid socks with prominent seams
  • If you have calluses on the bottom of your foot, you may need a special orthotic device to prevent calluses
Corns
Corns are calluses that form on the toes because the bones push up against the shoe and put pressure on the skin. The surface layer of the skin thickens and builds up, irritating the tissues underneath. Hard corns are usually located on the top of the toe or on the side of the small toe or toes that are bent (hammertoes). Soft corns resemble open sores and develop between the toes as they rub against each other.

Improperly fitting shoes (narrow toed shoes) are a leading cause of corns. Toe deformities, such as hammertoe or claw toe, also can lead to corns. In a visit to our office, your corns can be shaved with a scalpel. Treating corns should be focused on preventing the friction and pressure that is the underlying source of the problem. Do not use medicated corn removers or medicated corn pads since this will harm the healthy tissue surrounding the corn as well. 
 

 

 

 

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