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Corns – Callouses

Corns-Callouses are both referring to thickening of the skin on the foot. Callous’s are thickened, hard skin that occurs on the foot in areas that receive increased friction or pressure. Corns appear as a horny thickening of the skin on the toes or beneath the foot. This thickening appears as a cone shaped mass pointing down into the skin and is often surrounded by callous. They are actually a normal and natural way for the body to protect itself (the soft tissues beneath the skin), similar to your hands. If the pressure continues the skin gets thicker and usually becomes painful. This often feels like there is a stone bruise or you will feel as if you are “walking on pebbles”

There are three main types of corns or callous which occur on our feet;

  • Callous can occur anywhere on the foot that is susceptible to increased pressure. It appears in a diffuse area of hard skin which is yellowish in colour and can often have cracks (or fissures) within them.
  • Hard corns are usually located on the outer surface of the little toe or on the upper surface of the other toes, but can occur between the toes as well as the bottom of the foot over a prominent bone or an area of high pressure
  • A soft corn occurs between the toes and often appears white and macerated (or soggy). These can be further implicated by a tinea pedis (fungal) infection due to the moist nature of the soft corn.

Main contributing factors

  • Deformities of the toes such as hammer toes, claw toes, bunions- all predispose the foot to areas of increased pressure
  • Tight or incorrectly fitted footwear
  • gait abnormalities which cause the foot to be overloaded in particular areas
  • bony prominences

Treatment Options

  • Your Advance foot clinic podiatrist will relatively painlessly remove the build up of skin. This should give you immediate relief.
  • Shoe padding to prevent rapid reappearance.
  • Footwear advice or modification.
  • If biomechanics is a contributory cause – orthotics may be considered