Corns and Calluses
Corns and calluses are very common conditions. Corns and calluses are areas of skin that thicken in response to repeated pressure or friction. They most commonly occur on the feet and toes, and hands and fingers. They may be painful and unsightly. A generally healthy person is likely to ignore corns and calluses until they cause discomfort or inhibit activity. However, a person living with diabetes or poor blood circulation is at greater risk of complications, and must call a medical professional before self-treating a corn or callus; even a small foot injury can lead to sores.
Corns tend to be smaller than calluses. A corn usually appears as an inflamed area with a hard focal point at the center, and may be painful when pressure is applied. Calluses tend to be larger than corns and are more diffused in area. The medical term for calluses is hyperkeratosis. People with conditions like bunions and hammertoes are prone to corns and calluses because the bent toe rubs against the footwear covering the area.
Repetitive actions involving pressure and friction cause the skin to protect itself by developing corns and calluses. Specific causes include:
- Ill-fitting shoes. Feet slip inside loose shoes or become compressed inside tight shoes, thereby exacerbating friction. Feet in ill-fitting shoes also rub against seams of shoes or socks
- Not wearing socks with shoes
- Repetitive actions at work or recreation, e.g. using tools, chopping wood, playing musical instruments
- An area of thickened, dull-looking, rough skin on feet or hands
- Hard bumps on skin
- Inflammation and tenderness
Diagnosis and Treatment
Corns and calluses interfere with the comfortable use of your feet and can be ugly and painful. Our Advanced Foot Care Centers podiatry practice is here to lessen and remove the causes of your discomfort. Please contact us by phone or online appointment request at any one of our six locations in Tennessee (Hixson and Chattanooga) and Georgia (Ft. Oglethorpe and Dalton). One of our five podiatrists will evaluate your condition and recommend a course of treatment. We will also work with you to make a plan to prevent recurrence. Let’s enjoy the summer months ahead!