The skin on your feet has to stand up to a lot, including pressure and friction from the footwear you use each day to stand, walk, run, and otherwise get around. Corns and calluses are the names we use for thickened areas of skin on your feet (or hands or anywhere else on your body) caused by repeated friction.
How do you know if you have corns or calluses? You might realize you have corns because of discomfort, especially when wearing the ill-fitting shoes that may have caused the problem in the first place!
Dr. Francine Rhinehart provides expert podiatric care from her practice in Dallas, Texas. If you have concerns about corns or calluses, contact Dr. Rhinehart to learn more about how to take pressure off your feet and restore your foot skin to smoothness.
Indeed, the buildup of thickened skin that constitutes a corn or callus can appear anywhere on your skin. But, not many parts of your skin are regularly exposed to the friction or pressure needed for a callus or corn to form. You’re most likely to see these skin changes on your feet, with a secondary common location being your hands.
While calluses are thickened areas of skin with a fairly irregular, spread-out shape, corns tend to form small, round, hardened lumps. Corns are most likely to appear on the sides or tops of your foot but can also appear on the bottoms of your feet.
Hard corns, which contain a hardened, dense area of skin located within a larger patch of thickened skin, are most likely to form on top of your toes due to the pressure of bones against your skin.
Soft corns are more rubbery and tend to be found between your toes. Soft corns are whitish or gray in color. You could also notice small “seed corns” on the bottom of your feet.
With Dr. Rhinehart’s help, you can reverse corns and calluses, getting the skin on your feet back to a smooth, even texture. And Dr. Rhinehart can advise you on the steps you should take to keep your corns from recurring, including changing your footwear or posture and quitting smoking.
Your body creates corns and calluses to protect your skin from pressure, friction, and irritation. But, corns can become painful as skin thickening increases. And corns can become infected, putting your overall health at risk. Make sure to get professional treatment for corns if you have a condition like diabetes that negatively affects circulation in your feet or if you have delicate skin.
To treat your corns, Dr. Rhinehart may use soaking, gentle dead tissue removal techniques, and products with active ingredients like urea, salicylic acid, or ammonium lactate that act to soften skin. You may also benefit from protective padding around a healing corn.
Severe corns that cause extreme pain or are caused by issues with your foot bones may need surgical treatment.
If you’re unsure if the hardened skin area on your feet or toes could be a corn, schedule an appointment with Dr. Rhinehart online or over the phone today, and get started with evaluation and treatment.