Dermatologists from the American Academy of Dermatology say that corns and calluses are caused by friction or pressure on the skin. The reason for this is that these hard, thickened areas of skin develop naturally to help protect the skin underneath.
Calluses can develop anywhere on the body - wherever there is repeated pressure such as the fingertips after playing the guitar. Corns typically develop on the tops and sides of the toes and on the balls of the feet. Common causes are arthritis and poor-fitting shoes, says Nada Elbuluk, MF, FAAD and assistant professor of dermatology at the Langone Medical Center. She added that sometimes corns and calluses on the feet are mistaken for plantar warts because they can look similar to the untrained eye. However, if you look closely youll notice that plantar warts have tiny black dots within them, she said. These dots are actually small blood vessels. In addition, plantar warts are typicallly more painful when pressure is applied to the sides of the warts, and corns and calluses are more painful under direct pressure.
Most corns and calluses gradually go away when the friction or pressure causing them stops, she added. If you arent sure what is causing your corn or callus, if the hardened skin is very painful, if you have diabetes, or if you think you have warts, see a board-certified dermatologist or a podiatrist or orthopedist.
Here are some other tips to treat corns and calluses.
Toenails that are too long can force the toes to push up against your shoe, which causes a corn to form over time. Keeping your toenails trimmed removes this pressure.
Soak Corn Or Callus
Soak your corn or callus in warm water for five to 10 minutes or until the skin softens.
Wear Shoes That Fit
One common cause of corns is wearing a shoe that isnt the right size or shape for your foot. In order to get the right fit, shop for shoes at the end of the day because your feet may be slightly swollen. Also, ask the clerk to measure your foot and select shoes that arent too loose or too tight.
Remove Skin Carefully
Be careful not to take off too much skin when something is causing friction because doing so will cause bleeding and infection.
Use A Pumice Stone
You can file your corn or callus with a pumice stone. Dip the stone in warm water and then gently file the corn or callus using circular or sideways motions to remove the dead skin.
You can also use padding to protect calluses from further irritation such as when you are performing an activity. Cut a piece of moleskin available at your local drugstore into two half-moon shapes and place around the callus. To prevent the corn from making contact with your shoe you can surround the corn with a donut-shaped adhesive pad.
Use A Moisturizer
You can also apply moisturizing cream or lotion to the callus daily. Moisturizers containing urea, ammonium lactate or salicyclic acid will help gradually soften the hard corns and calluses.
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