What are Foot Callouses and Corns?
Calluses and Corns are caused when your body experiences pressure or friction against the skin. When this happens, the skin that is affected thickens. For instance, if the foot rubs against the shoe, the affected area will build up, forming a sometimes-painful area that will begin to rub against shoes, socks and nylons. While very similar, there are noticeable differences among these skin conditions:
- Corns are thickened skin in the shape of a cone or circle
- Calluses are similar, expect that they are more spread out over the skin and are flatter in appearance.
- If your callus has black dots – it may be a plantars wart- see a Foot Dr immediately!
Where Do Foot Corns and Calluses Form?
Corns and calluses often form at different places on the feet, since there is so much pressure exerted there, including:
- Over the ball of foot, on the sole
- Between the fourth and fifth (pinky) toe
- On the outside of the baby toe
- Hard skin on the top of the second toe
Sometimes, a bone in your foot is out of the normal position. The skin that is caught between the bone and shoe or the bone and the ground will begin to thicken to protect the foot from pressure. As the skin thickens, it can become painful.
There are several reasons why painful corns and calluses form:
- Problems with the positions of your toes (such as hammertoes and bunions) or a malformation on your foot
- An irregular gait that causes pressure or friction on part of your foot
- Ill-fitting shoes
- previously broken toe healed funny
How Are Foot Corns and Calluses Treated?
Both can be treated by removing the conditions that cause corns and calluses on the feet, which will reduce the friction that is causing your skin to harden.
Plantar warts on the foot are treated very differently- have the Podiatrist check it!
It’s important to remember that corns and calluses are not usually harmful (although those with diabetes should let their doctors know if skin begins to thicken on the foot). However, serious calluses and corns can become infected, affect foot movement or destroy healthy tissue. If that occurs, they’ll need to be removed.
With our help, calluses and corns can be monitored and controlled. There are certain medications and special exfoliating creams in our Beaver County Foot Doctors office and Butler County Foot Clinics that remove the dead skin that make up most corns and calluses. However, you should never try to cut or shave them off yourself—corns and calluses can become badly infected, especially if you are diabetic or have poor circulation.
What are the causes of calluses and corns?
Technically, both corns and calluses are forms of hyperkeratosis, which is the scientific term for thickening of the skin. This is one of the skin’s protective mechanisms, and corns and calluses are meant to shield the skin from chronic rubbing or pressure. Anything which causes friction or pressure has the potential to trigger this type of skin response.
By far, the main cause of corns and many types of calluses is improperly fitting footwear. Shoes or boots that are too loose, too tight, or have protruding seams or stitching can cause excessive rubbing. Foot abnormalities such as bunions, hammertoes, and bone spurs can also subject the feet to abnormal points of pressure and friction. Having an abnormal gait can contribute to these issues as well.
While corns are usually located on the feet it’s also possible for them to develop on the hands. Professionals who use tools daily such as carpenters and construction workers often develop hand corns, as do musicians.
Corn and callus risk factors.
In reality, anything which causes excessive or abnormal friction on the feet, hands, or elsewhere can cause corns and calluses. They affect all age groups, yet are more common in patients 65 years of age or older. It is estimated that about 25 to 70% of people have some level of corn or callus development on the feet at age 70. The following is a list of common risk factors:
- Foot or toe deformities or other changes in foot anatomy
- A biomechanically altered gait
- Ill-fitting footwear
- Tool or instrument use that causes repetitive stress in a specific location
- Performing manual labor. Corns and calluses are extremely common among construction workers, farmers, and other physically demanding professions.
Give Beaver Valley Foot Clinic a call now to arrange an appointment for your painful calluses! Our podiatrist can treat the skin problems that affect your feet.
Same day appointments available for emergency patients (even NEW PATIENTS)
- Podiatry practice for 23 + years and counting
- Locations near you in a Tricounty area
- American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery Certified
- Non Surgical options for many foot problems available
- Immediate relief of corns and callouses!