In an almost cruel twist of fate, the protective measures that our bodies use can sometimes backfire by creating new issues. There are various examples where this happens—a bone spur pressing into soft tissue, a burst blister that leads to an infection—and we have to be able to know when to do something about it. Such is the case with corns and calluses, which might seem harmless but can lead to serious medical conditions in certain instances.
Corns and Calluses
Corns and calluses are simply patches of thick, hardened dead skin that the body develops for the sake of protecting itself against friction or pressure. These are not major medical issues for most people, but they can lead to serious problems for diabetic individuals if they break down and turn into skin ulcers.
Given that these two conditions are similar, but not the same thing, it is important to be able to identify the symptoms that differentiate them:
- Corns are raised, have a center that is either harder or softer than the surrounding skin, and develop on areas that do not bear weight. They are frequently found on the tops, sides, and areas between the toes.
- Calluses, on the other hand, are flattened, which can be attributed to the fact they are often found on weight-bearing parts of your body. Given that they are associated with such areas, these are often found on the bottoms of your feet.
If you do not have diabetes, there are home care methods that are worth attempting before making an appointment with our foot specialists. These include:
- Wearing over-the-counter pads. You can find these in most pharmacies and retail stores, but be careful of ones that contain salicylic acid. This acid might irritate your healthy skin and potentially pose the risk of infection. Individuals who have diabetes or other circulatory issues should avoid them for this reason.
- Soaking your feet. Warm, soapy water will soften any corns or calluses and make them easier to remove with a pumice stone or other tool.
- Thinning the skin. The thickened skin can be thinned down with the use of a pumice stone, emery board, nail file, or even a washcloth. When you use any of these items, be sure to apply only gentle pressure and use circular motions. Keep in mind that the goal is not to get it done in one sitting and that you should avoid doing this if you are diabetic.
- Moisturizing. Applying moisturizer, especially after bathing and before bed, will help to soften the skin and restore its health.
One treatment method that we do not advocate is the use of “home surgery.” Do not attempt to remove a corn or callus with a knife, razor, or other sharp item. Doing so only puts you at unnecessary risk for infection. Instead, contact our office and have our professionals remove it for you safely.
Preventing Skin Issues
As with any medical condition, it is better to try and avoid developing a corn or callus in the first place instead of needing to seek treatment later. Fortunately, the steps you can take to prevent their development are rather easy. The best is to simply ensure that you wear shoes that fit properly. This means having room in the front to wiggle your toes.
In addition to buying shoes with a proper fit, you can also use protective coverings or padding over areas of your foot that rub against the inside of your footwear. This is a good tactic if you have already had a corn or callus and wish to prevent its reoccurrence.
Professional Care for Calluses in Richardson, TX
When you live in Richardson, TX or any of our surrounding communities and need caring, expert foot and ankle care, we’re here for you. Corns and calluses might not seem like a big deal at first, but they can develop into bigger issues, so let us help! Contact Richardson Podiatry Associates today and find out for yourself why our patients are so quick to refer us to their family and friends. Call (972) 690-5374 or schedule your appointment with us online.