Corns and calluses are among the most common causes of painful heels. Both corns and calluses involve thickened layers of dead skin, which can create painful pressure points when located on the feet. Fortunately, several treatments are known to be effective in these cases. Depending on the patient, home care, office treatment or a combination of approaches may be recommended. Here is an overview of corns and calluses and how they can be resolved.
What Are Corns and Calluses and What Causes Them?
Corns and Calluses are patches of thickened dead skin. The main thing that sets corns and calluses apart from each other is their density and area. Calluses tend to cover a larger area of skin but are thinner and softer. By contrast, corns tend to involve less area but often have a hard-core and may protrude outward from the skin more, making them more uncomfortable. Abnormal gait, poorly fitting shoes, and unusual foot anatomy can contribute to the formation of calluses and corns.
What Are Some Home Treatments for Corns and Calluses?
Less severe corns and calluses can often be eliminated through home treatments. One common approach is to soak the affected area in warm water to soften it before removing it, such as with a pumice stone. Some companies also make medicated corn pads, which consumers can apply consistently at home until the corn fades away. Other home approaches mainly address prevention of corns and calluses. For instance, patients can apply moisturizers to the affected area to keep the skin soft and healthy. It is also beneficial for patients to wear comfortable shoes that fit, which will help prevent the abrasion that can lead to corns and calluses.
Office Treatments for Callus and Corn Patients
Professional treatment is recommended to address corns and calluses that are severely painful or not responsive to home treatments. For patients with diabetes or peripheral vascular disease, professional care is mandatory as calluses and corns can raise risks of serious infections. In many cases, podiatrists trim excess skin away with a scalpel. Professional-strength medicated patches may also be recommended. To remove severe corns or calluses immediately, surgery may be advised. Orthotics may be beneficial if abnormal gait or foot anatomy is responsible for recurrent corns.
Like many other foot conditions, corns and calluses are ideally prevented rather than treated after they develop. Spacious, supportive shoes, bandages placed over abrasion-prone areas and moisturizers can all be good preventive treatments for corns. However, when pain or special risk factors are present, treatment for callus and corn patients should come from a professional. Our podiatrists at Manhattan Footcare are experienced at diagnosing, preventing, and removing corns and calluses located on the feet. If you suffer from these conditions, contact our podiatrists at Manhattan Footcare today to learn more about your treatment options.