Symptoms and treatment of corns and calluses.


Corns and calluses are areas of thick, hardened, accumulated dead skin cells that result from repeated friction, friction, or pressure. They can form anywhere on the body, but are most common on the hands, toes, heels, or soles of the feet.

Both are the result of hyperkeratinization, a thickening of the top layer of the skin known as the stratum corneum . If your shoes are constantly rubbing against a stain on your foot, such as inflammation and gradual build-up of scar tissue. the development of corn or maize.

Andrew Bossy / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.5

While we tend to think of corns and calluses interchangeably, they differ in appearance, cause, and sensitivity.


Corns are small, well-defined areas of thickened skin that usually form on the bony portions of the foot, such as the toe joints. They develop most often where the skin is thin and bare (soft and smooth).

Corns differ from corns in that they have a hard core surrounded by inflamed skin. Because their shape is usually well defined, they can often be mistaken for warts .

Like a wart, corns usually harden and appear with a scaly, dry, or waxy surface. However, corns can be distinguished by their location on the top of the foot and between the toes, rather than on the bottom (plantar) of the foot. Warts can also form in groups, which corns generally do not form, and develop anywhere on the body.

There are both soft and hard corns. Soft calluses form on the moist skin between the toes in response to abnormal friction (such as walking in tight, pointed shoes). They are generally whitish in color with a springy elastic texture.

In contrast, hard corns develop on flat, dry areas of the skin, especially on the bony parts of the foot, which are pressed firmly against the shoe. Hard corns form when the bone comes into direct contact with the inside of a shoe (especially a shoe whose toes are incorrectly twisted). They are usually small, round and live with corns.

Both soft and hard kernels have a barley-shaped pith that runs perpendicular to the foot from the top of the corn to the bottom tissue. Due to its shape and position, the hardened rod can sometimes press on nerve endings, causing a sharp stabbing pain.

There are also small "corns" that usually develop on the ball of the foot and, despite their small size, they are no less painful.


Corns are less pronounced areas of thickened skin. They are usually larger than corns and are rarely painful, caused by friction or pressure applied over a long period of time. For example, even writing with a pencil over the years can lead to calluses on the middle finger of the writing hand.

Corns are generally painless and cover large areas of skin, especially under the heels, on the palms, knees, or the balls of the feet. The skin can sometimes be smooth and hard or rough, dry and patchy.

Some of the situations that cause corns include:

  • Chopping wood
  • Construction work
  • Monkey Bar game
  • Sports activities that use equipment with handles (for example, tennis or golf)
  • Rock climbing
  • Rowing
  • Drum or plucking guitar strings
  • To walk barefoot
  • Wearing high heels
  • Weightlifting

Callus can be seen as a form of defense because the layers of dead skin cells are resistant to blisters and abrasion.

The only time a corn causes pain is when it cracks and exposes the underlying tissue. It is not uncommon for calluses to develop on the heel, where the thick layers of skin are less able to bend. Once a crack forms, it can be difficult to walk; Any additional pressure on the heel can increase the size and depth of the crack.

Home treatments

Most corns and blisters do not require treatment and can be treated at home with proper foot care and simple over-the-counter products.

To treat corns or corns safely:

Eliminate the source of irritation . This may require you to wear different shoes or, for example, to replace one that is too tight or loose . This is especially true as the feet age and begin to experience changes in the arch of the foot or in the thickness of the skin.

In some cases, orthotics or orthotic inserts may be required to compensate for any deviation in your foot structure and / or gait. Foot analysis can also help.

Dampen your leg or arm with warm water . By doing this for 10 to 20 minutes, you can soften the skin and relieve some of the pain. Dry well when done.

Sand the skin with a pumice stone . This must be done carefully, usually on large areas of thick skin. Pre-soaking the skin facilitates exfoliation. When you're done, use a very thick, emollient-rich lotion or cream to lock in moisture and keep skin smooth.

Spread over corn or corn. The best way to control pain and speed healing is to place the pads on the affected area. Sticky corn patches and stretch finger sleeves can be easily found at most drug stores.

To protect large areas of skin, ask your pharmacist for gel inserts or heel pads. If you have a corn on your arm, cover it with a bandage and wear protective gloves while you work.

There is also a wide selection of over-the-counter corn removers that generally contain salicylic acid. While they can be effective in removing corns, stop using them if you experience pain or skin irritation.

You should avoid these foods if you have diabetic neuropathy or any condition that affects blood flow to the foot (such as peripheral arterial disease ). These conditions can interfere with normal healing and lead to the development of stubborn ulcers and ulcers.

If you have diabetes, peripheral neuropathy (pain in the nerves in the foot), swelling of the legs (fluid overload in the feet and ankles), or any chronic circulatory problems, do not try to treat calluses yourself. Always consult your doctor.

When to see a doctor

If the corn or corn is painful or bleeding, you should see a podiatrist . Pain or bleeding indicates damage to the deeper layers of the skin. Ignoring these symptoms can lead to complications that could have been avoided, such as infections or ulcers.

Treatment may include debridement of the wound (removal of damaged tissue) or removal of the callus (excision) of the callus with a scalpel.

It is important to note that corns and calluses often reappear even after effective treatment. If they become troublesome, surgery may be considered (especially for corns). This should be considered only if all other conservative treatments have not provided relief.

In such a case, surgical enucleation (removal of the hardened nucleus), bunonectomy (removal of bursitis), or even surgery to straighten the foot may be considered.

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