While corns and calluses are more of a nuisance than a serious medical condition, they're something you'd rather avoid altogether. Luckily, if you understand what they are and what causes them, you'll find there are really easy solutions to making sure you don't get them again.
According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, "corns and calluses are areas of thickened skin that develop to protect that area from irritation." Calluses occur on the bottom of the foot, while corns appear on the top or sides of the foot and toes.
Both corns and calluses usually have a rough appearance. They can be raised or rounded. It might be difficult to differentiate them from warts from appearance alone.
Their rough feel can be a problem. In some cases larger calluses can dry out and crack. This can be painful and increases the possibility of infection.
Corns on the top or sides of your feet and calluses on the bottom of your feet are caused by friction between your feet and your shoes. While they may be unsightly, their tough exterior actually protects your foot from excessive pressure or friction.
There are three main causes of corns and calluses:
Often, corns and calluses won’t cause pain or any adverse effects in your daily life. If you develop them, take a look at your shoes to see if they are the cause.
The main treatment for corns and calluses is to find shoes that fit properly and make sure that you are not overpronating. Limiting pronation can also be achieved with a great pair of insoles for calluses and corns.
High heels put added pressure on the toes and ball of the foot. To avoid corns and calluses, reduce the amount of time you spend in high heels and try to keep your heels two inches or lower.
While the best treatment for a corn or callus is to get properly fitting shoes that give the toes enough room so that they do not rub against the shoe, there are other treatments to try:
Because infection can occur, don’t have corns and calluses removed at a nail salon during a pedicure. Instead, make sure a licensed professional is correctly removing the dead tissue.
Putting arch support inserts into your shoes can help prevent corns and calluses by correcting biomechanics and limiting pronation. Insoles for calluses and corns will ensure your foot is not slipping and causing unnecessary friction, eliminating the risk of corns and calluses.
Insoles also help prevent hammer toes, a secondary cause of corns and calluses. To find the best insoles for calluses and corns, look for inserts that have a deep heel cup and match the contours of your arch.
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