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How to get rid of foot corns and calluses - tips

Wed Mar 11, 2009 9:41 am

Foot corns and calluses are the most common foot afflictions. Ignoring foot care can be one of its causes. Learn more about the other causes of these conditions.

During the day, you are often constantly on your feet. Your feet work hard for you. However, they are also one of the most neglected parts of your body. You tend to ignore your feet until they start protesting against the abuse you heap on them. The protest is in the form of pain and other foot problems like corns, calluses, bunions, ingrown toenails, hammertoes, etc. Of all these problems, corns and calluses are the most common ones. Here is what you need to know about them.

What are corns and calluses?

During the day, your feet work to transport you from one place to the other. When you wear tight or ill-fitting shoes, your feet have to deal with an increase in the pressure on them. Feet also experience added friction from rubbing against a tight shoe. Eventually, the skin on your feet tries to protect itself by building new layers of skin. These layers are usually harder and thicker than your normal skin. When enough layers develop, the thickened skin is called a corn or callus.

What are the signs indicating their presence?

Corns and calluses do not develop overnight. A corn or a callus initially appears as a slightly rough area of the skin. This area of skin may also become dry and start flaking. After a while, the skin becomes harder and starts thickening as more layers are added to it. This thickened skin then becomes raised or looks like a bump. Consequently, you may begin to feel some pain in the raised area.

Corns and calluses are two different health conditions although they may appear similar. A corn is usually caused due to increased friction. Therefore, it is more likely to be found on the top and sides of your toes. A corn has a maximum diameter of one inch and is characterised by an extremely hard central region, surrounded by a patch of tender skin. When pressure is applied to a corn, it may cause a great amount of pain.

On the other hand, a callus is caused due to increased pressure and usually develops on the soles of the feet. The entire part of the sole, such as the heel or palm, develops thick layers of skin to cope with the pressure. It is larger than a corn and the skin of a callus is thickened evenly. A callus does not have a particular size or shape. Also, a callus is usually not painful when it is pressed.

How are corns and calluses caused?

Corns and calluses are primarily caused due to excess friction on a part of the foot, due to repetitive actions. Another cause is increased pressure on a part of the foot. The primary reason for corns and calluses is wearing shoes that do not fit properly. If a pair of shoes has very high heels, it tends to compress the front part of the foot. In the case of tight fitting shoes, parts of the foot rub against the inner part of the shoe. Thickened skin develops faster if the area of the foot is rubbing against the seam of the shoe.

Another cause of corns is wearing footwear without socks. This increases the friction on the foot. Calluses may also develop on the hands. This is due to repeatedly using a particular tool or gardening implements in and around the home or at the workplace. These kinds of calluses are commonly seen in people who use tools without wearing gloves.

Corns and calluses can also be secondary afflictions in those people already suffering from pre-existing conditions like bunions (toes curve over each other) and hammertoes (toe curls up, like a claw). Both this conditions can increase the friction on parts of the feet.

Corns and calluses tend to ruin the normal appearance of your feet. In most cases, if a corn or callus is noticed in the early stages, simply removing the source of the friction will make it go away. However, if it continues to cause you pain, you should immediately contact a qualified professional and seek treatment.

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