Corns and calluses can appear anywhere on your body, but they are most common on the feet, hands, fingers and toes. They are a buildup and hardening of skin in a certain area areas where there is regular friction or rubbing.
What’s the difference between corns and calluses?
Corns are usually small and round and are typically found on the top and sides of a toe. There are three different types of corns. Hard corns are hard areas of skin usually within a bigger area of troubled skin. They often develop on the top area of the toe where the bone can produce pressure on the skin. Soft corns have a rubber-like texture, they’re pale in colour – almost white – and they tend to grow in between the toes. Seed corns are about the size of a small seed, and they develop on the sole of the foot.
Calluses are larger than corns and tend to form on the areas of the foot that hold most of your weight. That would be your heel, the bottom of your biggest toe, the front of your sole and along the side of the foot. Developing some callus on the bottom of your foot is perfectly normal, and it actually helps make you more comfortable when you’re walking around bare foot, as adds a layer of protection to your foot allowing you to withstand hotter temperatures and rougher surfaces.
Calluses can also develop on the hands and are extremely common in people who work with their hands or participate in any activity that require repetitive rubbing on the hand like golf, gymnastics or playing the guitar. These types of calluses also serve a purpose. The gymnast with some callus on their hands can swing on the bars with greater ease than one with soft, fresh skin.
How and when to treat them
Removing some of the dry, hardened skin that forms the corn or callus is usually the best way to reduce their size and thickness. Be careful when you do this, being too aggressive can damage the skin tissue, and in some cases it could even get infected.
First soak the area with warm water to soften the corn or callus. This usually takes a few minutes. Next, grab a moistened foot file or piece of pumice and gently rub the affected area over and over, removing that dead skin. Once you’re done, put on some thick, heavy foot cream and allow it to soak in. It’s a great idea to do this right before bed and put some socks on right afterwards to hold in that moisture while you sleep.
If you have a corn or callus that concerns you, please give us a call. The team at Aldershot Foot Care Clinic in Burlington is here to help assess your unique situation and help develop a foot care plan that’s best for you.