Podiatry For Calluses and Corns in Sutherland

About Corns and Calluses

Corns and calluses are the ‘bread and butter’ of basic podiatry care.  These conditions are the most common that we see, and are easily and (usually) painless for us to remove.

What are Corns and Calluses?

Corns and calluses are areas of thickened layers of skin. They are often confused, but they are not the same thing.  So here are the differences:

  • Corns – are usually smaller than calluses, and have a hard centre, core, nucleus, whatever you want to call it.  Corns tend to develop on parts of your feet that don’t bear any weight, like the tops and sides of toes, though they can also be found on weightbearing areas. Corns can also develop between your toes, these are usually referred to as ‘soft corns’, as they are soggy and waterlogged from the perspiration that accumulates between your toes.  Corns can be painful when pressed.
  • Calluses – usually develop on the soles of your feet, especially under the heels, or the balls of your feet.  Calluses are rarely painful, an vary in size and shape, though they are larger than corns.  They do tend to get painful when they get quite thick, and start to crack open, as what can happen around your heels.

What causes Corns and Calluses?

Pressure and friction from repetitive actions cause corns and calluses to develop and grow.  Some causes can be:

  • Ill-fitting shoes – when shoes are too tight or have high heels, they compress areas of your foot.  If the shoe is too loose, your foot may repeatedly slide and rub against the shoe. Poorly placed seams or stitching may also cause these problems.
  • Skipping socks – wearing shoes without socks can lead to friction on your feet, and socks that don’t fit properly can also be a problem
  • Bunions, hammertoes or other foot deformities.  These type of deformities make it difficult to buy shoes that fit properly, and cause constant rubbing.

What are the symptoms of Corns and Calluses?

The symptoms can include:

  • Thickened patch of hard skin on the foot
  • Hard, small bump of skin that may have a central core or nucleus
  • White and rubbery bumps of skin (‘soft’ corns)
  • Can be flaky, dry or waxy skin
  • Pain when pressure or friction is applied to the area

What is the treatment for Corns and Calluses?

If you have corns or calluses here are some options:

  • Identifying and removing the cause of friction and pressure
  • Professional debridement of the corn or callus, by a Podiatrist to relieve the pain
  • Customized padding to redistribute pressure
  • Orthotics to offer pressure relief
  • Advice on appropriate footwear

Can there be complications with Corns and Calluses?

Yes there can be complications with corns and calluses especially if you are an at risk patient.  Diabetics are prone to developing ulcers and infection and should regularly see a Podiatrist if they have any corns or calluses.

Other people who are at risk of complications include:

  • Elderly people – because ageing skin loses elasticity and fatty tissue
  • People suffering from peripheral vascular disease or peripheral neuropathy

How can you prevent Corns and Calluses?

These suggestions may help you prevent corns and calluses from developing:

  • Wear shoes that give your toes plenty of room.  If you can’t wriggle your toes, your shoes are too tight.
  • Use protective covering.  Special padding and strapping, non medicated corn pads over areas that rub against footwear.
  • Moisturize your skin every day.  This stops the skin from drying out, and reduces the chances of calluses developing