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Phone: 949-833-3406
California Foot & Ankle Institute

Caring for Corns and Calluses

There’s nothing like a delicious, thick shake to satisfy a sweet tooth. It’s great to have a thick head of hair, too. However, if you have layers of thick skin, that’s not quite as nice. Not only is having corns and calluses unattractive, but they can actually cause pain and discomfort too. Knowing what’s causing the problem can help you to prevent it. The doctors at California Foot and Ankle Institute can help.

Find the Friction

corns on ball of footThese thick, hardened layers develop in an attempt to protect your skin from friction and pressure. Corns are found mostly on the sides or tops of toes, while calluses are typically located on the soles of the feet. Footwear that is too tight or heels that are too high can cause pressure points on your skin. In addition, shoes that are too loose may slide and rub against the skin of your feet. Foot deformities like bunions and hammertoes can add to the problem. Your job is to find a pair of shoes that fits just right and accommodates your foot shape. You should also make sure to always wear socks. They provide an extra layer of protection between you and your shoes.

Spot the Signs

If you notice a thick, rough area of skin that has formed into a hardened bump, guess what? You are a member of the corns and calluses club!  You may also experience tenderness and flakey, dry, or waxy skin. As the layers build, they may become painful when you wear shoes or walk. Corns tend to be smaller with a hard center surrounded by inflamed tissue. Calluses vary in size and shape and are typically bigger, yet cause little pain.

Lose the Layers

Often, simply switching to better-fitting shoes and/or using protective pads available at your local drugstore is all it takes to ease discomfort. You can try soaking your feet in warm, soapy water and then using a pumice stone to smooth away the thick layers. Keeping skin moisturized also helps. However, stubborn cases may require a trip to California Foot and Ankle Institute. Our doctors can trim away excess skin, apply a medicated patch, and even correct underlying conditions like bunions with surgery. Before it gets to that, though, it’s best to try some custom orthotic shoe inserts that will address such deformities as well as provide added cushioning. Keep in mind that if you have diabetes you should not attempt at-home treatments, as it will put you at risk for dangerous infections.

If you notice rough, dry patches of skin that seem to be thickening, you likely have a corn or callus. Give us a call to make an appointment, and we can help you determine if there is an underlying condition causing the problem. You can reach us at (949) 833-3406 in Irvine, (760) 951-2000 in Victorville, or toll free at (888) 796-6631. The doctors of California Foot and Ankle Institute are here to help with all your foot care needs.