Perhaps you work long hours on your feet, or maybe you’ve been wearing shoes that are a half size too small. Whatever the case may be, you’re here because you’ve developed corns or calluses. Not to fret; the Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists of Arizona have every inch of your feet covered!
What Are They?
Simply put, corns and calluses are a form of self-preservation. How could these thick, hard layers of unsightly skin be a natural survival instinct, you ask? They are the body’s way of protecting your skin from excessive amounts of abrasive and localized friction or pressure.
Calluses are yellow or pale in color and rough to the touch. Much larger than corns, they form over bony areas, such as the heels or balls of the feet, when they have received too much friction, roughness, or rubbing. They are a result of improper footwear coinciding with irregular ranges of motion while walking or running. These bumps are actually condensed patches of dead skin that have no defined edges. These patches of skin very seldom cause pain.
Corns come in two varieties – hard or soft. Hard corns are the most common and appear on bony areas of the feet. They are small, firm sections of thickened skin but their insides remain soft. Soft corns appear white in color and display a rubber-like texture. These protrusions develop on smooth, hairless portions of the feet that don’t bear much weight, such as between or on the sides of toes. Unlike calluses, corns can be painful to the touch.
How Did I Get Them?
There are several reasons for the development of these bumps on the skin. Pressure and friction are the number one reason that corns and calluses develop and grow. Some other causes include:
- Inappropriate Footwear – If your shoes are too small, too tight, or your heels are too high, they create pressure in the wrong places. Each of these factors will cause your foot to repeatedly slide or rub against the inside of the shoe. Poorly placed seams or stitches that rub against your feet will also result in the development of protective bumps.
- Going Sockless – Whenever you wear shoes or sandals, accompany them with socks. If you don’t wear socks, you’re bound to experience friction in the wrong areas of the foot. It is also important to wear socks that fit properly.
- Genetics – Certain individuals are genetically predisposed to developing thickened skin. Those with poor circulation in the feet are also at higher risk.
How Are They Treated?
Individuals suffering from corns and calluses should visit Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists of Arizona. In most instances, the presence of both types of bumps can be eradicated by removing the source of friction and pressure. Other remedies include:
- Shoe Inserts or Padding – Either over-the-counter or custom-made pads can be placed over the painful areas of your feet to relieve pressure.
- Soaking – Place your feet in warm water to soften the corns and calluses. This action causes them to retreat effortlessly.
- Thinning of the Skin – After soaking the affected area, the bumps can be lightly rubbed with either a washcloth or pumice stone. Never cut into the foot or try to trim the areas, as this may lead to unwarranted infection.
- Moisturize – Putting lotion on the skin will help to keep it soft and reduce the amount of abrasion placed on the skin’s surface.
If your corn or callus has become painful, contact our office immediately. Though often harmless, these extensions can harbor many complications. Make an appointment at our Chandler office: (480) 963-9000.