Walking barefoot also causes calluses.
Calluses and corns often form on the bumps caused by
rheumatoid arthritis or on
hammer, claw, or mallet toes. Calluses and corns on
the feet may also be caused by repeated pressure due to sports (such as a
callus on the bottom of a runner's foot), an odd way of walking (abnormal
gait), or a bone structure, such as flat feet or bone spurs (small,
bony growths that form along joints).
What are the symptoms?
You can tell you have a
corn or callus by the way it looks. A callus is hard, dry, and thick, and it may
appear grayish or yellowish. It may be less sensitive to the touch than
surrounding skin, and it may feel bumpy. A hard corn is also firm and thick. It
may have a soft yellow ring with a gray center. A soft corn looks like an open
Calluses and corns often are not painful, but they can
cause pain when you are walking or wearing shoes. And they may make it hard for
your feet to fit in your shoes. Any type of pressure applied to the callus or
corn, such as squeezing it, can also cause pain.
How are calluses and corns diagnosed?
corns generally are diagnosed during a physical exam. Your doctor may also ask
you questions about your work, your hobbies, or the types of shoes you wear. An
X-ray of the foot may be done if your doctor suspects
a problem with the bones.
How are they treated?
If you have
peripheral arterial disease,
peripheral neuropathy, or other conditions that cause
circulatory problems or numbness, talk to your doctor before you try any
treatment for calluses or corns.
Calluses and corns do not need
treatment unless they cause pain. If they do cause pain, the treatment goal is
to remove the pressure or friction that is causing the callus or corn, to give
it time to heal. This is done by wearing footwear that fits properly and using
doughnut-shaped pads (such as
moleskin) or other
protective padding to cushion the callus or corn. Some other types of padding
include toe separators,
toe crest pads, and
toe caps and toe sleeves. Also, the callus or corn can be softened and the dead
skin can be removed by using products such as salicylic acid.
doctor may use a small knife to pare (trim) the callus or corn. You may reduce
the size of the callus or corn yourself by soaking your foot in warm water and
then using a pumice stone to rub the dead skin away. Never cut the corn or
callus yourself, especially if you have diabetes or other conditions that cause
circulatory problems or numbness. In some cases, surgery may be done to remove
the callus or corn or to change the bone structure beneath the callus or corn.
How common are calluses and corns?