Corns and calluses are thick, hardened areas of skin that develop in response to your body's natural defense to repeated pressure or friction. While neither condition presents a long-term or serious health risk, they can be painful, irritating and unattractive and make your daily activities difficult.
Identifying a Corn or Callus
Corns and calluses are similar in nature, but differ in size and location. Corns are smaller than calluses and usually have a hard, thickened center surrounded by red, inflamed skin. They typically develop on the tops and sides of your toes and can be painful when touched or while wearing shoes. Calluses generally develop on the balls of your feet. They vary in size and shape, although they are almost always larger than corns.
For most people who develop calluses or corns, eliminating the source of pressure is usually enough to make them not hurt as badly. Dr. Rothstein recommends the following for treating corns and calluses:
- Wear comfortable shoes and socks. When footwear fits properly, there is less opportunity for friction and rubbing to occur.
- Soak your feet in warm, soapy water to help soften the corns and calluses, then gently rub the thickened skin with a pumice stone to remove toughened layers of skin.
- Keeping your feet moisturized with foot cream or lotion will help improve the quality of your skin
When to Seek Care from Dr. Alan Rothstein
When corns and calluses don't respond to the conservative care outlined above they may be caused by an underlying deformity in the bones of the toes or the metatarsal bones. If this is the case, contact either of our locations for a careful evaluation. Dr. Rothstein will investigate the causes of your corn or callus and recommend an appropriate treatment plan to alleviate your condition. Never attempt to cut away a corn or callus on your own, especially if you have diabetes or poor circulation. Instead, seek advice from Dr. Rothstein for careful removal and proper care.