What are calluses?
Calluses are toughened areas of skin which have become thickened and hard do a response of the body to repeated friction pressure or other irritation that can develop on hands, feet or anywhere there is repeated friction. The common callus usually occurs when there has been a lot of rubbing against the hands or feet. Calluses are found most on feet because of the frequent walking.
Calluses are not generally harmful but may lead to other problems such as ulceration or infection. There are many activities that can result in the formation of a callus and they have several types.
There are different common names given to various types of calluses. One of the common one is called a plantar callus and is found on the bottom of the foot.
What are corns?
A corn is thick skin that occurs on the tops and sides of the toes. A hard corn is a small patch of thickened, dead skin with a small plug of skin in the centre. Located on the top of a toe or the outside of the little toe. A soft corn has a much thinner surface, appears whitish and rubbery and has a thin, smooth centre, and usually found between the toes. Seed corns are clusters of tiny corns that can be painful if they are on a weight-bearing part of the foot. Seed corns tend to occur on the heel or ball of the foot, and some doctors believe this condition is caused by blocked sweat ducts.
What causes calluses and corns?
One of the biggest reasons for causing corns and calluses is shoes that don’t fit right. Actually walking motion itself can be a cause of corns and calluses if you develop an improper walk. Ladies, if you like your high-heeled shoes, in reality they are a big cause for your body to respond with developing a callus. That is the main reason why women are much more likely to develop calluses than men. As they say, beauty requires sacrifice, but next time you might want to think twice whether it is worth the hassle that comes with it at a later time. While we are on the topic of shoes, another contributor to this problem is wearing any shoe without socks. Wearing socks prevents friction to your skin and greatly reduces such skin issues.
How do you prevent corns and calluses?
Properly fitting shoes is key. To avoid corns and calluses on the feet, always have both feet measured when buying shoes, and only wear properly fitting shoes. If those shoes don’t fit but look nice, remember, you don’t want to pay down the line with your skin having issues. Get a pair that fits nicely and your feet will thank you later.
When it comes to getting shoes that fit, this includes making sure that both shoe width and length are correct. Also check both feet as they might be slightly different sizes. Allow up to half an inch between your longest toe and the front of the shoe. If you feel like there’s no space to wiggle your toes, its best to look at a size up.
If you have shoes with sharply pointed toes it is best to avoid them. If you must have high heels, like all of us do at times, try not to wear them too frequently. Women who use high heels often can avoid skin issues by getting a second pair that are flat. This can be helpful when you have to walk to get to work but only really need high heel shoes at work. If you have an opportunity to take shoes off, please do so as it will relax your skin and can be of some help. If you have a choice of going for a lower height of the heel, go for it.
Another issue can be worn soles as having them worn out will increase friction. They also increase shock when walking on hard surfaces as well as create an environment that attract bacteria. On top of it, your heel bone can experience pressure when the heels have been worn. Something to consider is that uneven wearing of heels or soles should not be ignored. If this happens, please discuss it with a doctor about getting something that could help (like special insoles).
How can you treat corns and calluses?
The most important thing is to make sure your feet are dry and don’t experience friction. It is best to choose socks that are made of cotton to prevent any further irritation.
Calluses usually will disappear away by themselves when the irritation is continuously avoided. Calluses can be sanded down with a file. If the callus is excessively thick and hard, sharp razor treatment may be needed. Moleskin pads that are correctly placed can also contribute to ensuring your skin does not experience that much pressure. What you want to consider is getting a product that would assist you with removing a callus or corn. While your body can take care of the issue by itself, it is much easier to get a product that would help you get rid of it very quickly. Along with the mentioned moleskin pads, there are liquids and plasters that contain salicylic acid and help treating a callus or corn. Don’t be alarmed but it is a little bit of acid that peels off the top part of the skin.
There are also creams that will help remove cracked calluses by softening the skin. These can be applied to the callus and if left for up to an hour covered with a plastic bag or sock, can do wonders. Afterwards you would simply try and rub off the callus as much as possible with a simple brush that is rather soft. There are also electric products that have entered the market and for a rather cheap price can be used again and again if you experience this issue.