Corns and Calluses
Corns and calluses are a common concern of those suffering from bunions and hammertoes. These rough, thick patches of skin are part of the body’s natural defense system, designed to protect the skin against repeated friction and pressure. When the foot becomes deformed with bunions and hammertoes, just about any type of shoes will cause friction, leading to calluses and corns.
For most people, they’re an uncomfortable nuisance. In addition to those with bunions and hammertoes, people who stand a lot, have flat feet or wear shoes that are narrow, tight or high-heeled are at a greater risk of developing calluses and corns, as are the elderly.
When the skin is exposed to frequent pressure and friction, dead skin cells accumulate, harden and thicken in that area to create a callus. It protects the skin and underlying tissue from further damage caused by the rubbing. They most often appear on the ball of the foot, under the big toe, and on the tops or tips of the toes. When this pressure is focused on a very small area, a hard corn may develop.
Calluses and corns can be painful and become inflamed and swollen. They can also be a sign that there’s an underlying problem or foot disorder such as a joint that’s out of alignment.
We treat corns and calluses with a variety of medicated products that use salicylic acid to chemically break down and reduce the thickened skin. It’s important to have this done by a doctor because these medications can pose certain health risks for patients with problems like diabetes, poor circulation or delicate skin.
Corns and calluses can also be pared down physically for patients that don’t respond to the medicated products. We may also recommend orthotics to relieve the pressure and friction that are causing the problem.
If you have calluses or corns, give our office a call to schedule an evaluation. Don’t try to cut away or scrape a callus off, which can damage healthy skin and cause dangerous infections.