Callus is thickening of the surface layer of the skin. Callus appears as hard patches of skin in areas such as, ball of the foot, under the big toe, tips and tops of toes and between the toes.
Corns like calluses develop due to accumulation of dead skin cells on the foot. They contain a cone-shaped core with a point that can press on a nerve below, causing pain. They can form on top of the toes, in between the toes, underneath major joints or any weight bearing area which is under constant pressure and friction.
Calluses and corns are caused due to number of reasons:
Almost everyone. Calluses and corns affect more people than any other kind of foot problem. Some people have a natural tendency to develop calluses because of their skin type.
For example , elderly people have less fatty tissue and elasticity in their feet and because of a lack of padding, calluses may form on the bttom of the foot. People who work in occupations that require them to spend a lot of time on their feet are prone to developing calluses.
The best way to prevent the development of calluses and corns is to pay attention to your feet when you feel there is extra pressure on specific areas. Properly fitting shoes are essential, especially if you spend long periods of time on your feet and it is important that you never wear someone else's shoes. A moisturiser used daily, will help to keep your skin supple. If you feel you may be developing a corn or callus, or you already have one, the best thing to do is seek professional advice and treatment from a podiatrist.
The important thing to remember about treating calluses and corns is not to treat it yourself without seeing a specialist first.
As calluses and corns are generally symptoms of other problems, it is important to have a podiatrist examine your feet and diagnose what could be causing the pressure. Over-the-counter remedies such as corn paint or plasters generally only treat the symptoms – not the problem.
If you have diabetes or reduced blood circulation seek professional advice from your podiatrist or doctor before using corn pads. They can easily damage the healthy skin surrounding the corn if not used properly.
It is important that you never cut corns or calluses yourself. In the warm, moist confines of enclosed shoes, infection can easily develop and small cuts can quickly become serious wounds.