Corns and Calluses, Oh My!

Corns and calluses, while often unsightly, are usually harmless. They are an indication from your skin, telling you that it’s being rubbed the wrong way. In order to protect itself, the skin forms thick, hard layers of skin. They become a problem when they cause pain and/or inflammation.

Corns are usually smaller than calluses. They are often painful bumps that are hard in the middle, but tender around it. They usually form on the tops, sides, and in between your toes from friction by hammertoes, curly toes, bunions, or foot deformities. Calluses are related, but are usually on the bottom of your feet, where you bear weight. They are usually larger than corns and are formed by pressure or friction from external sources like poorly fitting shoes, or not wearing socks.

The best way to treat and prevent corns or calluses is to adjust the sites of friction. Make sure your shoes fit well and use inserts or pads/padding to reduce the rubbing. If you just do not like the sight of corns and calluses, you can minimize their appearance with a good soak and “filing” down the thick skin with a pumice stone or emery board. Be careful not to pierce the skin! And make sure to moisturize to keep your feet smooth and nourished.

When things don’t seem to get better, or you just need to take care of the pain right away, it’s best to come see your favorite podiatrist! (It’s especially important for diabetics to see our podiatrist because they may have poor blood flow to the feet and therefore, higher risk of infection or other issues from corns and calluses.) Our board-certified foot doctor, Carl Ingrassia, DPM can assess your issues and help you remove or correct your corns or calluses.

He may suggest the following treatment options: Trimming away thickened skin with a scalpel, callus-removing medication, or in severe cases, surgery. If a foot deformity is the cause, he may recommend an orthotic insert or other adjustment measure. To know the best option for you, make an appointment with us at Fords Foot and Ankle Care. Call our office in Fords, NJ today at (732) 738-4441.