Corns (clavi) and calluses are unpleasant and sometimes painful hyperkeratoses (excessive keratinization) formed by excessive pressure on the skin.
Difference between Corns and Horned Calluses
In general, calluses (tylomes) are formed:
The inside of the calluses can be soft or hard.
- Hard calluses are common, they are of small size and usually occur in bone near areas of the foot above the fourth and fifth toes. They can also occur on the hands.
- Soft calluses are whitish in color and rubbery consistency. Usually they are located between the toes (interdigital area), where the skin is moist and sweaty. In this ambience, the calluses remain soft.
They have a round shape and when touched you can feel them as circumscribed thickenings.
The calluses are thickened and less sensitive to touch than the surrounding skin.
Corns form on the sole of the foot, near the heads of the metatarsal bones, or at the top of the foot on the back of the toe or between the toes.
They are caused by chronic pressure on skin close to the bone and are the best-known form of calluses.
It is usually a very painful callus formation with a spur, the tip of which is directed inwards.
Common places where corns and calluses form:
Corns Corns usually appear on the toes, more precisely: between the fourth and fifth or on the top of the second toe, i.e. the one next to the big toe.
Horn calluses Typical is the formation of calluses, especially on the soles of the feet and palms
. With appropriate load, however, this is also possible in other parts of the body.Causes of corns and calluses
Corns and calluses are caused by:
- continuous and prolonged pressure,
- Friction on an area of skin.
The pressure causes:
- the death of skin cells,
- the formation of a coarse, protective skin surface.
A soft corneal change occurs in the same way, except that sweat is trapped in the affected area, which then softens the hard formation.
This is usually the case between the toes.
Calluses are not caused by viruses and are not contagious.
Repeated exposure to an object that causes pressure on the skin typically leads to the appearance of calluses, for example:
1. The pen for writing, 2. Some instruments (guitar, hammer),
3. Sports equipment (tennis rackets,
equipment in the gym). These tylomas can cause:
A callus under a toe canoccur if you cut the nail on the sides.
Tylomas and corns on the feet are often caused by the pressure of shoes, including the following causes:
- Tight shoes squeeze the foot, especially if they are used for sports activities (football or running). They can also lead to calluses under the nails.
- Shoes with high heels press on the front part of the foot.
- Shoes that do not close well can cause slipping and continued rubbing in the shoe.
- Shoes with thin soles can create more pressure on the forefoot (the part close to the toes) when walking than shoes with thick soles.
- Wearing sandals and shoes without socks can cause increased friction.
- The foot can rub against an inner seam in the shoe.
- Wide or oversized socks form wrinkles that favor pressure points.
What are risk factors for corns and calluses?
The following risk factors are associated with a greater frequency of corns and calluses:
- Hallux valgus and other foot deformities.
- A hammer toe occurs when a toe bends permanently towards the sole of the foot.
- Bursitis on the big toe is an abnormal bump formation of bony consistency that develops at the joint of the base of the big toe.
- Excessive friction on the hand.
- People who use hand tools without gloves have an increased risk of forming calluses.
- Age. Older people have less fatty tissue under the sole of the foot, the result is less protection against the formation of calluses.
Signs and symptoms of corns and calluses
Often patients report the feeling of walking on stones.
The following signs or symptoms may indicate the presence of calluses:
- A prominent and hardened knot
- Swollen hands or swollen feet in the vicinity of the calluses
- A rough and thickened skin area
- Skin dryness and cracked skin
- Flaky skin of waxy consistency
- Pain on the fingers of the hand
- Pain in the feet
Diagnosis of corns and calluses
The doctor must ask the patient about his lifestyle and, above all, must check his footwear.
A physical examination is then performed.
If the doctor suspects that a problem of the bony structure is underlying, he may order an X-ray examination of the feet.
The doctor must exclude other formations on the foot, such as:
How are corns and calluses treated?
Treatment for calluses consists of avoiding the repetitive actions that caused these disorders.
Medications are not required, natural remedies are sufficient.
The important thing is:
- wear well-fitting shoes,
- use protective padding,
- use orthopedic insoles that support the foot correctly.
If a callus is persistent or begins to hurt, the following therapies can bring relief:
1. Excision. The doctor may abras the thickened skin or remove the tylom with a scalpel, usually during a hospital stay.
2. Salicylic acid. The doctor may apply patches that contain 40% acetylsalicylic acid (for example, patches from Dr. Scholl) and are over-the-counter.
Unless otherwise prescribed, the patch must be replaced every few days.
You can also use pumice stone or a metal nail file to remove the dead skin before a new plaster is applied.
Acetylsalicylic acid is also available as a locally acting drug for larger areas of the skin by prescription.
Patients with circulatory disorders (for example, diabetics) should talk to their doctor before self-treatment of calluses.
3. Antibiotic drug. The doctor may advise an antibiotic-containing ointment in case of infected calluses.
4. Orthopaedic insoles. If the patient has a malposition of the foot (for example, flat feet), the doctor may prescribe adapted insoles (insoles) to prevent the recurrence of calluses.
5. Surgical intervention. In rare cases, the doctor may recommend surgery to straighten the bone causing the pressure points.
A medical podiatrist is competent and specialized in assessing the problem and the correct method of treatment.
The beautician deals with calluses, but is not a medical professional.
If an underlying cause is known (for example, a problem in the bone structure), then it can be diagnosed and treated to prevent recurrence of calluses on the foot.
Some people need surgical correction for foot deformities.
The medical podiatrist can eliminate calluses.
People with diabetes or problems with blood circulation should seek medical foot care for safe removal of calluses.
Natural remedies for corns and calluses
Calluses on the feet can be cured by their own treatment methods.
The following home remedies may be effective for preventing calluses.
1. Foot bath with bicarbonate
- In a few liters of warm water, add half a cup of sodium bicarbonate.
- Wait until it is completely dissolved in the water.
- Take a foot bath in this solution for about half an hour.
2. Pumice stone
- Immerse the feet in water for at least 15 minutes to soften the skin.
- Rub vigorously on the calluses with a pumice stone to remove the dead cells. Continue until much of the dead tissue is removed. Be careful not to rub the areas too deeply, as this can cause pain and irritation.
- After treatment, rinse the feet well, wash and rub carefully dry.
skin For excessively dry skin, use a lotion and apply to the areas of calluses. The most effective natural ointment products are:
- olive oil,
- Coconut oil.
If you want to achieve good results, this treatment must be done daily.
Do not quickly remove the calluses with a knife or a blade.
This can cause:
- further aggravation of complaints.
Understanding and eliminating
causes of calluses Calluses do not arise out of nowhere.
Excessive friction and pressure can lead to thickening in the skin and cell death.
- Understand and eliminate the cause of friction.
- Prevent calluses by appropriate measures.
Care of feet or hands. Eliminating the cause of the problem is important, but in acute pain, the patient needs immediate relief.
- Bathe the affected foot in a warm Epsom salt solution for 15-20 minutes.
- Apply a moisturizer.
- Wrap your foot in a plastic bag.
- Leave the plastic bag on your foot for a few hours (for example, while watching TV or reading).
- Then remove the plastic bag and gently rub it from the side with a pumice stone over the layer.
This treatment brings temporary relief, but does not serve the cure.
Do not cut the skin. There are a myriad of instruments in the pharmacy to remove or eradicate calluses, but these tools must not be used to prevent further damage.
Cutting out corns can lead to infection and bleeding.
Do not walk on calluses. A padding is a temporary relief and another remedy for complaints caused by corns and calluses. The padding dissipates the pressure of the shoe from a painful to a painless point.
The non-medical pads for calluses surround this horn formation with a material higher than the skin.
In this way, they protect the corn from further contact with the shoe.
Cut a piece of Moleskin padding (available at the drugstore) into two crescent-shaped pieces and place them around the keratinized zone to protect against further irritation.
Separation of the toes. For pain relief in corns located between the toes, the toes can be separated by a silicone device (available at the drugstore), cotton or a piece of wool.
A small felt pillow, which is also used for hard corns, can be useful for this purpose.
Covering the feet. If it is foreseeable that you will have to walk or run a lot, you should cover your toes with some petroleum jelly or a paste of zinc oxide to reduce the rubbing.
Choose the right shoes. Corns and calluses form when the shoe size does not match the size of the foot.
Here is a list of guidelines to avoid calluses:
- When buying shoes, try at least two different shoe sizes. Don’t ask the seller for a certain size just because you’ve always worn it. The size of the foot changes with age.
- It is necessary to try on both the right and left shoe.
- Stand during the shoe test and check whether there is enough clearance between the toe tip and the shoe.
- Check that the shoe fits well at the heel.
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