Corns and calluses are both dead skin, and they often appear on your feet in areas that experience a lot of friction and pressure. Both corns and calluses develop as part of your body’s natural protective response to injury.
The main differences between corns and calluses include:
Corns are pretty firm, with a hard center. Calluses are tough but lack the hard center.
Corns usually appear on top of toes, while calluses often appear in weight-bearing areas, including the balls and heels of the feet.
Calluses can be any size but tend to be larger than corns. Usually, corns are dime-sized or slightly larger.
Calluses are usually painless, but corns can be pretty uncomfortable if you apply pressure to them.
You can have corns and calluses simultaneously but usually not in the same area of your foot.
Several different sources of pressure and friction cause corns and calluses, including too-tight or over-lose shoes and wearing shoes without socks.
Your risk of corns and calluses increases if you have foot deformities like bunions and hammertoe. Bunions and hammertoe both represent joint changes in the foot. The area where the joint bends — the top of the toe in hammertoe and the side of the primary big toe joint in bunions — often develops corns and calluses because of friction with your shoes.
With a bunion, the big toe can also overlap the next toe, causing skin friction that leads to corns and calluses.
Treating corns and calluses often include carefully trimming the dead skin using a surgical blade. Corn and callus removal at Richmond Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates is a painless process because the skin’s already dead.
You should never remove a corn or callus at home by cutting or scraping. There’s a high risk of removing too much skin, which can cause bleeding, pain, and infection.
Gradual removal of the dead skin using a topical product like salicylic acid is another way to treat corns and calluses.
To prevent recurrent corns and calluses, you might need padding or custom-fitted orthotics (shoe inserts).
If you need help with corns and calluses, call Richmond Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates now or book an appointment online.