Callus and Corns

Today we’re talking about callus and corns, a very common treatment in podiatry, we see it day in day out. Multiple people have these problems. The reason being so what’s callus? For starters, callus is a diffuse area of hard skin, which we often find on the foot. And it’s caused by pressure. And it’s usually shearing forces, so like movement forces, you may twist when you walk or you have slight movement in your shoe, that sort of thing.

You might get a diffuse area of hard skin, which can as time goes on, that builds up and it gets thicker, it can become quite painful. And so common areas to get it are under these joints in the toe called the metatarsophalangeal joints. And you find possibly under the big toe is more common than the littler ones. And it builds up under there. It’s common under here as well around the heel, where we get a lot of pressure. Sometimes if it gets thick enough, it will crack and that can become quite painful.

So what we do to deal with that in clinic is we take it off with a blade, it’s called debridement. So we take away all that hard skin, which immediately gives you relief from that pain you’re experiencing. But we also look at why you’re getting it. So is it the footwear you’re wearing? Is it the mechanics of your feet? Do you need a little bit of cushioning, because you might have lost a little bit of fatty padding under the joints? What can we do basically to help prevent this build up over the long term.

The other thing I want to talk about today was corns, so that’s slightly different from callus. It is hard skin, but it is where you get an area of direct pressure. So for example, under this little toe, you might get a direct pressure if this joint sort of dropped slightly.

So if you look in this line, and it just slightly drops down like that, you might be getting an extra bit of pressure under it when you walk. And what you’ll find is it’s like a circular bit of hard skin, it looks a little bit like glassy, that’s the way to describe it. It’s a little glassy bit of hard skin. But what it does is it goes into the skin like this in a point, okay. And so when you walking on it from that circular shape, it goes up into the foot like a point so when you walk it is very painful. Okay, corns are a lot more painful than callus in general, because it feels like you’re walking on a pebble or a stone almost all the time, once they build up. And common places to get them are under these joints here.

You might get one under the little toe joint, the big toe joint, the tops of the toes. And these are always caused because of footwear. Because you get direct pressure from footwear. If you don’t wear shoes at all you can get on the top, because there would be no pressure on the top. Okay, and we deal with those in a pretty similar way. We take them out and it’s called enucleation. We take out the corn and again, you get immediate relief and then we look at the reasons why you’re getting it. Is it footwear? Is it abnormal pressures in your foot? Is it the way that you’re walking? That sort of thing and try to address it that way as well as giving you the immediate relief of taking away the problem.

So they are fairly simple things but they can cause a lot of discomfort in our patients. And if you’ve got a problem like that, you can give us a call or 01372464659 or you can email us at [email protected]


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