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Corns and Calluses—Smoothing the Way

Cars, vans, delivery trucks and semi-trailers put a lot of pressure on roads. Wear and tear or too much weight, and the pavement will start to develop rough patches, which leads to road repairs, delays, and frustrated drivers. When the skin of your feet is subject to pressure and friction, it can also develop rough patches called corns and calluses. They can slow you down and keep you from enjoying favorite activities, and if they start to hurt it can be a frustrating nuisance for you.

Dry, rough calluses on your feet can be due to certain footwear.Corns—Painful Bumps

This is a thickening of skin that occurs on the top of the foot or toes. These small, hard, raised bumps are usually smaller than calluses and have inflamed skin that surrounds the area. Usually, the skin underneath is painful or tender when pressure is applied on it.

Calluses—Rough, Dry Patches

These hardened, dry, waxy areas of skin are not painful. They’re located on the bottom of the foot and cover larger areas of skin than corns do. Look for this condition on the heels or ball of the foot.

How Calluses and Corns Form

Shoes can be a big contributor in the development of rough patches on the skin. Your shoes can give you corns and calluses if they rub on the tops of your toes, squeeze them together, compress your foot in any way, are too loose, or have heels that are too high. You can also develop problems if you don’t wear socks with your shoes. Foot deformities like bunions, hammertoes, and bone spurs can cause extra rubbing too.

Treatment for Life’s Rough Patches

Most of the time, you only need treatment if these bumps are painful. You can eliminate your discomfort by simply getting rid of the pressure source that is pushing on your corns and calluses. A change in shoes and socks is usually the first step to recovery. A properly-fitting pair of shoes and some gel pad inserts will also help prevent your problems in the first place.

You should also avoid the activity that gave you corns or calluses in the first place. Any activities that involve repetitive movement, like running or walking, should be approached with extra caution.

To treat your condition at home, soak your feet in warm, soapy water or take a shower. This will soften up the skin and make it easier for you to remove the hard patches. Take a pumice stone, emery board, or nail file and gently rub away the skin with gentle pressure. Never cut the callus or corn off. Your open skin could become infected. If you’re diabetic or have circulation problems, this could easily turn into an infection. After you slough off the skin, slather on a thick moisturizer to make the skin softer.

McDowell Podiatry Group Can Help Smooth Your Way

If your feet are giving you pain that’s preventing you from going about your everyday life, give our office a call and make an appointment. We have the right tools and expertise to help clear up your condition fast. It’s no problem at all for us to trim away the hard skin and apply a medicated patch. Along with the treatment, we can also educate you on how to keep up with replacing the patches and applying medicated ointment.

These rough patches of skin are no match for some simple treatment and a change of shoes. If you want more help with skin conditions, make an appointment at the McDowell Podiatry Group by calling (916) 961-3434. Our office serves the greater Sacramento area and can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Photo Credit: Arvind Balaraman

Dr. Brian McDowell
Dr. Brian McDowell, board-certified podiatrist, provides cutting-edge foot and ankle care in Carmichael, CA.