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Why Corns and Callouses Can Be A Problem

Calluses and corns are related, yet different, skin conditions. Both are formed by thickened, dead skin, but each has distinct characteristics. Calluses are flat, have a waxy appearance, and are often found in areas of intense pressure (like the bottom of the heel and ball of foot). Corns, on the other hand, are raised and have a soft center. They are caused by friction and less likely to be found in areas that face higher levels of pressure (otherwise, they would not likely have their raised, conical shape).

Some of the ways corns and calluses can create problems include:

  • Pain or discomfort. Calluses aren’t usually painful, but corns often are, especially when they sustain pressure. Even small corns can lead to pain or discomfort.

  • Cracking and infection risk. When skin becomes dry and thickened (callused), it can develop cracks in response to the pressure feet face on a regular basis. This can be quite painful, but deep fissures also increase the risk of infection.

  • Diabetic foot ulcers. Dry, dead skin patches are particularly concerning for diabetic individuals. When calluses thicken, they can break down in time and become foot ulcers. Non-healing diabetic ulcers can cause severe damage to body tissues and may require limb amputation.

Ways to Prevent Corns There are many ways to get rid of painful corns such as:

  • Wearing properly fitting shoes that have been measured by a professional

  • Wearing shoes that are not sharply pointed or have high heels

  • Wearing only shoes that offer support

You may be able to handle a corn or callus on your own at home, but West Morris Foot And Ankle provides professional care if you need it.

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