Corns & Calluses
Corns form as a result of excessive pressure on the toes from pushing up against your shoes. The surface layer of your skin thickens irritating the tissue underneath. Soft corns develop between toes when they rub against each other whereas hard corns are formed on bony prominences under and over the feet.
A callus is an area of skin which has become relatively tough, thick and hard in response to repeated pressure, friction or other irritation. Since repeated contact is required, calluses are most often found on feet because of frequent walking.
Causes of Corns
Over-the-counter remedies such as corn plasters and paint generally only treat the symptoms – not the cause of the problem. Medicated planters easily damage the healthy skin surrounding the corn. It is strongly recommended that commercial preparations only be used following professional advice.
It is important that you never cut corns or calluses yourself. Corns and callus are generally not harmful, but may sometimes lead to other problems, such as skin infections and ulcerations.
Seeing your podiatrist
We can recommend you many ways to relieve pain and get rid of the corn or callus and also help with isolating the cause and preventing the problem recurring.
To treat painful corns, your podiatrist will gently remove some of the hard skin of the callus so that the center of the corn can be removed. To allow the callus to heal and prevent future cases, your podiatrist may redistribute pressure on the foot with soft padding and strapping or deflective appliances that fit easily into your shoes. For corns on the toes, small foam sleeves, silicon sleeves and toe separators are useful for relieving pressure in affected parts. For those who have reduced fat pads under the balls of their feet, extra shock absorption silicone pads can be provided and can help to compensate for loss of natural padding.
Your podiatrist may also discuss the type of footwear most likely to cause corns and calluses. In some cases orthotics may be prescribed to reduce excessive weight bearing forces on the foot and provide long term relief.