Hard skin? What is the difference between Callus and Corns?
A callus (See Figure 1) generally refers to the thickening of the skin, commonly on the ball of the foot. This can sometimes cause mild discomfort.
A corn (See Figure 2) is a deeper more focal formation of hard skin commonly on the toes. A corn can form under a callused area and is more painful when bearing weight. If pain persists while not bearing weight, it could mean that your corn is infected.
Causes of Callus and Corns
This is usually the result of an underlying foot problem e.g. deformities in the toes or feet, a particular style of walking, thin skin, bony toes or inappropriate footwear. Uneven pressure on the feet, causes the bone to rub again the skin. The body responds by producing thickenings in the surface layer of the skin. People with Bunions are also likely to develop Callus & Corns. If untreated, Calluses & Corns can become quite painful. Our Podiatrists can help identify the cause and recommend appropriate treatment.
How to treat?
Our Podiatrists will:
- remove the hard skin, a painless procedure which gives immediate relief. Then assess to determine the cause and address the problem to prevent re-occurrence.
- redistribute pressure on the foot with special shoe inserts (orthotics) that fit in the shoe.
- custom make a toe device using a special silicone material that moulds to your toes. A wedge or prop to help alleviate the is used for corns between your toes or a prop if on the end of your toe to lift your toe off the ground. (See Figure 3)
- give advice on properly fitting The key is that it fits you correctly and your footwear isn’t too tight which results in pressure or too loose which causes rubbing friction.
It is better not to treat yourself as the key is to determine the cause and prevent it from reoccurring. This is imperative if you have high risk feet such as diabetes or poor circulation.
Figure 1- Callus example
Figure 2 – Corn examples