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Corns and Calluses
What are Corns and Calluses?
CORNS and calluses are lesions of hard skin as a result of friction or high pressure. For many people they are an ongoing source of discomfort requiring regular treatment and debridement.
Callous is the skin's natural protective defence to increased pressure over a small surface area. Callous usually presents as hard, thickened, dry skin, however it can also be moist or splitting.
Corns result when there is an excessively high amount of pressure over a small area of skin resulting in callous with a crystalised or glassy centre. Corns often develop over joints or bony prominances and can be described as 'feeling like there is a stone under the skin'.
Both corns and callous can be influenced by foot structure and function and also poorly fitting footwear.
What is the treatment for corns and callous?
Treatment of corns and callous involves reducing or debriding back the layers of hard skin to reduce pressure on the underlying healthy tissue. You can do this yourself by filing the area with a pumice stone or emory board. Alternatively for thicker callous a Podiatrist can carefully debride the area with a scapel. You should NOT attempt to do this yourself as serious injury can result if not done properly. Hard skin is easier to remove if you keep the skin soft with regular applications of moisturiser. Urea based creams available from your pharmacist are best for this.
Corns are much deeper and usually require removal/enucleation by a Podiatrist. You should NOT attempt to use acid based corn pads (particularly if you are diabetic) to remove these hard lesions as serious tissue damage can result. The acid in these pads will breakdown any tissue it comes into contact with, not just that of the corn and can cause wounds and ulcers to develop.
Leah can determine the cause of your corns or callous and aim to reduce these stresses as much as possible. This can be done through footwear changes/modifications, padding and cushioning, orthotics and interdigital toe wedges. The imporantce of having corns and callous properly treated, if you suffer from diabetes, should not be under-stated. As the hard lesions increase the risk of breakdowns and ulcers.
Don't put up with the pain associated with these common problems!
Far too often Leah sees people who have been putting up with the pain of a corn for years which can be dealt with in just a few minutes!