Garden State Foot & Ankle Center


Calluses and Corns

A callus is an area of hard, thickened skin that can occur on areas of increased pressure on the foot. They typically occur in the heel, ball of the foot, and in certain areas of your toes. Although one may think that it is a problem with skin, it is actually a problem with the bone structure of your feet. In some cases, Calluses can have painful nerves and bursal sacs (fluid-filled balloons that act as shock absorbers) beneath them, causing symptoms ranging from sharp, shooting pain to dull, aching soreness.

Corns are calluses that form on the toes because the bones push up against the shoe and put pressure on the skin. The surface layer of the skin thickens and builds up, irritating the tissues underneath. Hard corns are usually located on the top of the toe or on the side of the small toe. Soft corns resemble open sores and develop between the toes as they rub against each other.

Corns and Calluses form from repeated friction and pressure, as the shoe (or ground) rubs against a bony prominence (bone spur) on the toe or foot. The skin thickens in response to this pressure. Small amounts of friction or pressure over long periods of time cause a corn or callus. A great deal of friction or pressure over shorter periods of time can cause blisters or open sores. Calluses typically develop under a metatarsal head (the long bone that forms the ball of the foot) that is carrying more than its fair share of the body weight, usually due to it being dropped down or due to its longer length.

Treatment of corns and calluses can range from OTC sal-acid creams and lotion that help in peeling the dead skin cells away, to different creams and lotions. In some cases manual debridement with a sharp instrument needs to be done in order to decrease the heavy build up of dead skin cells. Please do not do this at home due to the possibility of infection can develop from trimming to much of the protective skin layer from the area. The only at home remedy for corns and calluses that are reccomended are soaks with warm water and rubbing with a pumice stone daily to help prevent the build up of the thickened skin cells. Also be sure you are wearing the proper foot gear to help relieve the pressure caused by the corns and calluses.


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