Corns & Callus
There can be varying degrees of callus, from minimal callus under the ball of the foot, to an infected ulcer that develops as a result of thick callus that has badly damaged the skin.
Corns and Callus are pathologically the same… what that means is that the skin has thickened in response to pressure. A Callus is a diffuse thickening of the skin and a Corn is a more focal thickening.
What Causes Corns and Callus?
They are caused by too much friction, pressure, or shearing or, indeed, all of them. The pressure that occurs stimulates the skin to thicken in order for it to protect itself, but if the stimulation remains, the callus build-up gets great and becomes very painful.
The pressure, friction or shearing can come about due to;
- Tight footwear
- Toe deformities; such as hammer toes cause increased pressure usually due to rubbing on the shoes
- Bony prominence
- Reduction in fatty padding on the ball or heel of the foot (this occurs naturally as we get older)
- Biomechanical deformity, which can cause pressure under different areas on the bottom of the foot.
KEY POINT– corns or callus are usually there as a symptom of an underlying condition, so it is better to try and understand and treat the cause rather than just the symptoms.
What can our Podiatrists do for you?
- Assessment to see what is causing the corn/ callus
- Chiropody skills; reducing the callus and also enucleating the offending corn
- Use of padding to offload pressure
- Footwear advice for style and fitting
- Use of orthotics to relieve pressure under the foot (long term treatment).