Whether you've just noticed the corns and calluses on your feet after a long winter or you spend the entire year in sandals and have been seeing yours for a while, you're probably wondering what corns and calluses are exactly and how you can get rid of them for good.
More of a nuisance than a serious medical condition, corns and calluses are areas of thickened skin on your feet that develop as a result of friction between your feet and your shoes. While they may be unsightly, their tough exterior actually protects your foot from excessive pressure or friction.
Both corns and calluses usually have a rough appearance. They can be raised or rounded. Calluses are typically yellowish, however after prolonged irritation, you may notice a brown, red or black discoloration develop. In some cases larger calluses can dry out and crack, which can be painful and increase the possibility of infection.
The difference between a corn and a callus is the location on your foot. When the hard, thickened skin is on the bottom of your foot, it's a callus. Calluses typically develop near the base of the toes. When it's on the top or sides of your foot or your toes, it's a corn.
It can be hard to tell if you have a corn or callus, or something else. Often, planters warts are confused for calluses. If you want a diagnosis, you should visit a medical professional who will inspect your feet and give you the best course of treatment.
There are three main causes of corns and calluses. They can be the result of wearing ill-fitting shoes that cause friction, foot abnormalities and deformities, and overpronation.
While the best treatment for a corn or callus is wearing shoes that fit properly and give your feet enough room so that they don't rub against your shoe, you can also try other treatments like a pumice stone, foam wedges, or having a podiatrist remove the corn or callus.
Try these other treatments to get corn and callus-free feet:
Though it may be tempting, it's best not to have your corns or calluses removed at a nail salon during a pedicure or to remove them yourself at home. Infection can occur, making your problem much more serious. Instead, make sure a licensed professional is correctly removing the dead tissue.
For many people, corns and calluses won’t cause any adverse effects in daily life. However, for some people they can become painful, especially if they are not addressed and become infected.
If you develop corns or calluses, start by looking at your lifestyle to see if any of your habits are the cause. The Cleveland Clinic points to these issues that, when changed, can reduce or prevent corns and calluses:
Once you have made sure you have shoes that fit properly, you'll want to address any pronation issues you have. Adding arch support insoles for calluses and corns can limit overpronation or supination which will prevent calluses and corns.
If you have to wear high heels, try to reduce the amount of time you spend in them, as they put added pressure on your toes and the balls of your feet. Wearing heels that are two inches or lower will also help you avoid corns and calluses.
Arch support inserts can help prevent corns and calluses by correcting biomechanics and limiting your pronation. They'll ensure your foot is not slipping inside your shoe, causing unnecessary friction that causes 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 some important features:
Whether you're looking for shoe inserts for callus pain or ones that will help reduce or prevent your calluses and corns, make sure you get ones that fit your footwear properly. Your insoles shouldn't make your shoes too tight for your feet.
If your shoes have full-length, removable inserts, look for regular callus and corn insoles. If your shoes have a thin, removable insert, find thin insoles. And if your shoes don't have a removable insole at all, buy short insoles.
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Mark has always believed exceptional footwear can change lives. He's been in the footwear industry for over 30 years, working with podiatrists, pedorthists, foot care experts, and footwear makers. Mark started Chaco sandals in 1989 and developed a game-changing sport sandal that delivered comfort and durability. After Chaco sold in 2009, Mark ultimately started Tread Labs to continue transforming people's footwear so they can walk better, feel better, live better.
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