Corns and calluses
Corns and calluses
Corns and calluses are thick, hardened layers of skin that develop when your skin tries to protect itself against friction and pressure. They most often develop on the feet and toes or hands and fingers. Corns and calluses can be unsightly.
If you're healthy, you need treatment for corns and calluses only if they cause discomfort. For most people, simply eliminating the source of friction or pressure makes corns and calluses disappear.
However, if you have diabetes or another condition that causes poor circulation to your feet, you're at greater risk of complications from corns and calluses. Seek your doctor's advice on proper care for corns and calluses if you have one of these conditions.
You may have a corn or callus if you notice:
Corns and calluses are often confused, but they're not the same thing:
When to see a doctor
Corns have a hard center and tend to develop on the tops and sides of your toes. They can be painful. ...
A callus usually develops on the soles of the feet and palms of the hands. It can vary in size and shape and is rarely painful. ...
Pressure and friction from repetitive actions cause corns and calluses to develop and grow. Some causes include:
These factors may increase your risk of corns and calluses:
When you have a bunion, your big toe joint becomes enlarged, forcing it to crowd against your other toes. The pressure on your big toe joint pushes it outward beyond the normal profile of your foot. ...
A hammertoe is a toe that's curled due to a bend in the middle joint of the toe. ...
Tests and diagnosis
Your doctor will examine your feet and rule out other causes of thickened skin, such as warts and cysts. Your doctor may also request an X-ray to see if a physical abnormality is causing the corn or callus.
Treatments and drugs
Treatment for corns and calluses usually involves avoiding the repetitive actions that cause them to develop. Wearing properly fitting shoes, using protective pads and other self-care measures can help resolve them.
If a corn or callus persists or becomes painful despite your self-care efforts, medical treatments can provide relief:
Lifestyle and home remedies
If you have diabetes or another condition that causes poor circulation, consult your doctor before attempting to treat corns and calluses on your own.
If you have no underlying health problems, these suggestions may help clear up corns and calluses:
These approaches may help you prevent corns and calluses from developing:
Last Updated: 2011-04-05
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