Corns and Callouses
Corns and callouses are really just an accumulation of dead skin cells that harden and thicken over an area of the foot. This accumulation is a natural defense mechanism that the body uses to protect the foot against excessive pressure and friction. Corns are usually found on the top of a toe, whereas callouses are normally found on the bottom of the foot, such as on the ball-of-the-foot, the heel or the inside of the big toe.
Treatment and Prevention of Corns and Callouses
The first step in the treatment and prevention of corns and callouses is to remove the dead tissue. This can be done using a pumice stone (not recommended for diabetics) or urea cream. A podiatrist can also mechanically remove callouses or corns. Many people try to alleviate the pain caused by callouses by cutting or trimming them with a razor blade or knife. This is not the way to properly treat calluses. This is very dangerous and can worsen the condition resulting in unnecessary injuries. Diabetics especially should never try this type of treatment.
The next step is to relieve the excessive pressure that leads to callous formation in the first place. An effective orthotic can transfer pressure away from the “hot spots” or high pressured areas to allow the callous to heal. If the condition still persists, see a podiatrist. A podiatrist is very knowledgeable about foot biomechanics and can help you with your treatment decisions.