Corns and Calluses
When someone is noted as having “thick skin,” it implies that he or she is not easily offended. Rarely is the term used in a literal sense, but thickened skin—as with corns and calluses—can provide physical defense. Unfortunately, these skin conditions can create their own issues, too. At Capital District Podiatry, we can help not only with effective treatment, but also by providing tips on how to prevent them.
Similarities and Differences
Corns and calluses are related skin conditions, but they have distinct differences as well. Whereas both are hardened, thick layers of skin that develop as protection against pressure and friction, they look different and appear in different places.
Corns are smaller and have a center that is either harder or softer than the surrounding skin, which is often inflamed. They are typically found in areas of your feet that do not bear weight, like on the sides, tops, or between the toes. When pressed, corns can be painful.
Calluses, on the other hand, are rarely painful, even when pressed. These are typically found on the soles, particularly under the ball of the foot or in the heel areas, and can vary in size and shape. Often, they are larger than corns.
Corn and Callus Risk Factors
It’s plausible that anyone who has skin could develop a callus or corn at some point in his or her life, although some are more prone to it than others. Factors that make these patches of dry skin more likely include:
Ill-fitting footwear. This common culprit behind many other foot and ankle conditions extends to calluses and corns as well. Shoes that are excessively tight—like high heels—compress your feet, creating pressure on various areas. Ones that are too loose allow the foot to slide around and experience friction from the insides of the shoes.
Not wearing socks. Going sockless can lead to friction, but keep in mind that socks that do not fit correctly can also contribute to these skin conditions.
Toe deformities. Bunions, hammertoes, and other foot deformities are not accommodated by most pairs of shoes. As such, they frequently lead to corns and calluses at the problem areas.
Developing hard, dry skin poses a certain degree of risk for otherwise healthy individuals, but this is exponentially greater for those who live with diabetes. The inherent problem is that hardened skin can split under pressure and become a foot ulcer. Once the under-layers of tissue are no longer protected, they become a prime residence for microorganisms that contribute to infections. This becomes a serious medical condition that could potentially lead to amputation.
Remember, if you or a loved one lives with diabetes, it is essential to perform daily foot inspections. As soon as you notice that a condition is developing, come into our office for immediate help. Doing so will keep you safe and decrease the risk of serious medical conditions.
Treating Corns and Calluses
Corn and callus treatment starts with avoiding the activities that cause them in the first place. Wearing shoes that fit well, using cushioned pads, and following self-care measures is a good place to begin. Further care includes medication, shoe inserts, and trimming excess skin. These should be prescribed or performed by a professional foot specialist to avoid the risk of infection and ensure proper dosages for medication. The experts here at Capital District Podiatry can create a treatment plan specifically for your situation.
Home and professional care is available for this skin condition, but preventing it in the first place is always the best practice. Fortunately, there are some easy tips to reduce your risk of either developing, including:
- Make sure your shoes have plenty of room, but don’t allow your feet to slide within them.
- Wear protective coverings like felt pads, bandages, or non-medicated corn pads over areas of concern.
- Choose socks that are neither too tight nor too loose.
Corn and Callus Treatment in the Greater Albany, NY Community
Capital District Podiatry can handle your problem corns and calluses. Contact us today by calling (518) 273-0053 or use our online form to schedule an appointment at either of our Albany, NY-area offices.