What are calluses?

Calluses are areas where hard and dry skin builds up to protect the skin on your feet from excess friction. Calluses are often found on the bottom of your feet, usually on the ball of your foot or your heel, where your feet rub against your shoes.

Calluses form in a process called hyperkeratosis, which is an abnormal thickening of the outer layer of your skin. The affected areas aren’t typically painful but can cause pain when they become too large and create a pressure point on your foot.

What are corns?

Corns are a type of callus, usually round and white, with a waxy appearance. The difference is, they usually form on or between your toes instead of on weight bearing parts of your foot. Additionally, they’re usually more painful than calluses, and when untreated, can lead to infection.

Corns are often hard and dry and have a hard center surrounded by inflamed skin. They can also be soft, especially when a corn forms between your toes and is kept moist by sweat.

What causes corns and calluses?

Excess pressure and friction on your feet typically cause corns and calluses. Additional risk factors include:

  • Poorly fitting shoes
  • Shoe seams in strange places
  • Not wearing socks
  • Walking barefoot
  • Frequent jogging or walking
  • Hammertoes or bunions

The natural aging process can also result in corns and calluses as you lose collagen and other fatty tissue in your skin.

How are corns and calluses treated?

You should make an appointment with Dr. Mbanuzue for expert treatment when corns and calluses cause pain, or you have diabetes. In addition to a careful examination of your feet, she may also look at your shoes and suggest a change in footwear.

During your appointment, she may remove any hardened skin with sterile equipment and use a salicylic acid patch to break down hard and dry skin. If your corns are infected, a topical antibiotic can clear the infection.

If you’re concerned about the pain from corns, calluses, and hard, dry skin on your feet and live in the Washington, DC Metro area, call or schedule an appointment online at In Step Podiatry today.