Corns and Calluses
Our bodies often have the best of intentions, but sometimes unintended consequences arise when they take measures to keep us safe. An example of this is the body developing a bone spur to protect against excess force, but then the spur presses into soft issue around it and causes inflammation and pain. Another is a blister, which is intended to protect skin while it mends, that bursts and opens the door for infection. This can also be the case with corns and calluses. Now, these both may seem rather harmless, but they do have the potential to become problems.
Corns and Calluses
Commonly associated with each other, these are both patches of dead skin that have become thick and hardened to protect an area against persistent friction or pressure. For otherwise healthy individuals, neither actually constitutes much of a major medical concern in and of itself, but a corn or callus can lead to severe issues for those who have diabetes if one breaks down and becomes a skin ulcer.
The reason for the common association between the two conditions is because they are fairly similar in some regards, but they do have distinct differences as well:
- Corns are more likely to be found in areas of the body that are not weight-bearing, like between toes and the areas on the sides and tops of feet. They are also normally raised in a conical shape and feature a center that is usually harder than the skin surrounding the corn.
- Calluses are not raised and have a waxy appearance. Their flattened characteristic can be attributed to the fact they are more likely to develop on weight-bearing areas of the body, like the bottoms of the heels and balls of feet.
Home Treatment and Professional Care for Corns and Calluses in Warren & South Plainfield, NJ
Otherwise healthy individuals may wish to attempt home remedies prior to contacting our South Plainfield, NJ podiatrist office for an appointment, but it is important to note that we do not recommend this for diabetic patients. If you do have diabetes and develop a corn or callus, call us as soon as possible and we can provide the necessary care to keep you safe.
Home remedies for corns and calluses include:
- Moisturizing. You can soften the hardened skin by applying moisturizing cream or lotion on the rough patches following your shower or bath in the morning and before going to bed at night. This is a great, safe way to restore your skin’s health.
- Soaking your feet. Warm, soapy water is quite effective for softening calluses and corns, and this makes it easier to remove them with an emery board or pumice stone.
- Thinning the skin. This does not mean to take a knife to your skin and perform “home surgery” on a corn or callus. Instead, you can thin down and smooth out a rough patch with the use of an emery board, pumice stone, nail file, or even a rough washcloth. Apply gentle pressure when using the tool, and keep in mind that the goal is not to completely eliminate the corn or callus in a single sitting.
- Over-the-counter pads. You can find these in most retail stores and pharmacies, and wearing such products can provide the necessary cushioning to allow your skin to heal. If this is a treatment you are going to try, be sure to only choose pads that do not contain salicylic acid.
To reinforce an important note, do not attempt to remove your callus or corn by cutting it out with a knife, razor, or another sharp object. Doing this puts you at risk for potential infection, which is worse than the original issue. Instead, give us a call and we will remove your corn or callus safely at our office.
We acknowledge the fact that corns and calluses might not seem like a big problem, but they can lead to situations where you have heightened risk for infection. Ankle and Foot Specialist of New Jersey can treat your skin issues to keep you safe, and also provide tips to prevent them in the future! Contact our offices in Warren or South Plainfield/Edison by calling (908) 222-8980, or use our online form to request your appointment today.