Do I Have a Callus or a Corn?

Every summer my feet tend to get dry and I develop thick and sometimes cracked calluses. But another symptom I have regularly when my calluses get thick, is pain on the outer pad of my foot, you know, the area under your pinky toe? I find that when I have a pedicure appointment and request the “Callus treatment” my feet feel a lot better and pain is eliminated.

This got me to wondering, is the area of pain solely a callus, or could it also be a corn? This led me to do some research.

Calluses and corns are areas of thick skin caused by pressure or friction. They can be found on your feet, between your toes or even on your hands.

“Calluses and corns are caused by repeated pressure or friction on an area of skin. The pressure causes the skin to die and form a hard, protective surface. A soft corn is formed in the same way, except that when sweat is trapped where the corn develops, the hard core softens. This typically occurs between toes. Calluses and corns are not caused by a virus and are not contagious.”

Calluses can be found on the bottom of your foot where as corns are usually found on the top of your foot or in between your toes. Walking barefoot or wearing improper fitting shoes will increase your chance of forming a callus. “Calluses and corns often form on bunions, hammer, claw, or mallet toes, or on the bumps caused by rheumatoid arthritis.”

Callused skin is typically hard, thick and may be discolored yellow or grey. You may or may not feel pain from the callus or corn while walking or wearing shoes. Sometimes, when you apply pressure by touching or squeezing the callus it can cause pain or discomfort. The pain is often described as walking with a pebble in your shoe or taped against your foot. They can become very uncomfortable. If left untreated then the callus will increase in size and may cause the skin to split and become very painful.

So, there we have it!  My particular issue is callus build up!

There are several conservative treatment options to help maintain callused skin. Schedule an appointment with one of our podiatrists today and they can discuss them with you, 707-578-1222.

Sarah, VMD

Additional information can be found at: https://www.apma.org/Patients/FootHealth.cfm?ItemNumber=1346

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