Areas of thickened, hardened skin are called calluses and corns. Although they can appear anywhere on your body, they frequently do so on your feet.
Small, rounded circles of thick skin are called corns. The tops, sides, or soles of your feet or toes are where corns are most likely to form. They happen most frequently on bony, unpadded feet.
Calluses are rough, hard skin growths. They usually show up on the ball or the heel of your foot. They may also appear on your hands, knuckles, or other parts of your body.
Typically, calluses are larger than corns and have a yellowish tint. They don’t have sharp edges. They might not be as touch sensitive as the rest of your feet.
Although calluses and corns are often painless, they can occasionally become uncomfortable with time. If they get infected, they may also be hurt.
Typical signs include:
- Skin that has been hardened where there has been constant contact or pressure (corns and calluses).
- Small, elevated, rising lump of rigid skin that is encircled by skin irritation (more likely to be a corn).
- Larger, often more flattened, thick, hardened area of skin (more likely to be a callus).
- less touch sensitive than the skin around it (more likely to be callus).
- The bump’s raised portion could hurt or make you uncomfortable (more likely to be corn).
- Blisters, redness, and pain.
Many of the causes of corns and calluses are similar. These consist of:
- Improperly fitting shoes. This is the most frequent reason for corns on the tops of the feet. Shearing, friction, and pressure are brought on by shoes that are overly tight or have places that rub against your skin. Because of the downward pressure on this area when walking, women who wear high heels often develop calluses on the balls of their feet.
- Long amounts of time spent walking, running, or standing still.
- Physical pastimes, athletic endeavors, or labor-intensive tasks requiring your feet.
- Wearing no shoes.
- Not donning socks and shoes.
- Have sock linings or shoe soles that bunch up or slide beneath your feet when wearing shoes.
- Walking incorrectly means placing too much weight on either the inner or outer border of your foot.
- Physical pastimes, athletic endeavors, or labor-intensive tasks that repeatedly rub the skin on your hands or fingers.
- structural foot abnormalities or altered biomechanics (birth defects like hammertoes or tailor’s bunions).
The diagnosis of corns and calluses is simple. No exams are necessary. Usually, all that is required is a quick visual inspection of the skin. Your doctor might inquire about your occupation, the amount of standing and walking you do, and the activities you engage in. Your doctor may ask you to walk if you have a corn or callus on your foot in order to assess your posture and walking style, inquire about your shoes, and learn more about how you take care of your feet.
Both corns and calluses can be treated the same way. It entails refraining from the recurrent behaviors that give rise to them. Protective padding and wearing shoes that fit well can also be helpful.
Medical procedures can relieve pain if a corn or callus continues or worsens despite your self-care efforts:
- Removing extra skin by trimming. With a knife, your doctor can clip a huge corn or thin out thicker skin. During an office visit, this can be accomplished. You shouldn’t attempt this on your own because it can get you sick.
- Therapeutic patches. Additionally, your doctor might use a patch that contains 40 percent salicylic acid (Clear Away, MediPlast, others). Over-the-counter purchases of these patches are available. You’ll be informed by your doctor when it’s time to change this patch again. Before placing a fresh patch, try thinning the thicker skin with a pumice stone, nail file, or emery board. Try non-prescription salicylic acid in gel (Compound W, Keralyt) or liquid (Compound W, Duofilm) form if you need to treat a greater region.
- Sock liners. Your doctor may recommend padded, custom-made shoe inserts (orthotics) to avoid recurring corns or calluses if you have an underlying foot abnormality.
- Surgery. Your doctor might recommend surgery to realign a bone that is generating friction. There is no need for an overnight hospital stay for this kind of procedure.
If you have injured your lower leg, you should visit the Doral Health and Wellness Multi-Specialty Clinic as soon as possible. In order to diagnose conditions that affect the foot and lower leg, diagnostic procedures such as X-rays and other laboratory tests may be performed. You can get in touch with us at this number: 347-955-3463.