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Corns and Calluses

Corns and calluses are areas of thickened skin that develop to protect that area from irritation. They occur when something rubs against the foot repeatedly or causes excess pressure against part of the foot. If the thickening of skin occurs on the bottom of the foot, it is called a callus. If it occurs on the top of the foot (or toe), it is called a corn. Corns and calluses are not contagious but may become painful if they get too thick. In people with diabetes or decreased circulation, they can lead to more serious foot problems. Corns often occur where a toe rubs against the interior of a shoe. Excessive pressure at the balls of the feet may cause calluses to develop on the balls of the feet. People with certain deformities of the foot, such as hammertoes, are prone to corns and calluses. Corns and calluses typically have a rough, dull appearance. They may be raised or rounded, and they can be hard to differentiate from warts. Corns or calluses sometimes cause pain.

If corns or calluses are causing pain and discomfort or inhibiting your daily life in any way, come in and see our podiatrist. In addition, if you have diabetes, poor circulation, or other serious illnesses, you should have your feet checked.

Our podiatrist will conduct a complete examination of your feet. Corns and calluses are diagnosed based on appearance and history. If you have mild corns or calluses, our podiatrist may suggest changing your shoes and/or adding padding to your shoes. Larger corns and calluses are most effectively reduced with a surgical blade. Our podiatrist can use the blade to carefully shave away the thickened, dead skin. The procedure is painless because the skin is already dead. Additional treatments may be needed if the corn or callus recurs. Cortisone injections into the foot or toe may be given if the corn or callus is causing significant pain.

Prevention

  • Wear properly fitted shoes. If you have any deformities of the toe or foot, talk to our podiatrist to find out what shoes are best for you.
  • Gel pad inserts may decrease friction points and pressure. Our podiatrist can help you determine where pads might be useful.

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