Corns and Calluses
When the skin is irritated with continuous friction over time, its reaction to build up increasing layers of thickened skin for protection. The collection of extra skin is called a callus or keratoma. It is often referred to as a corn when it is on the top of a toe. Calluses can build up in any area of friction or irritation.
When calluses become thicker, they can become painful with tight shoes and with walking. Left untreated, the good skin under a callus can break down into an open sore or ulceration.
Common causes of calluses include:
- Hammer Toe
- Flat Feet
- Metatarsalgia (ball of foot pain)
- High Arched Feet
- Foreign Body (e.g: glass, thorn)
Treatment options for calluses consist of over-the-counter medications or removal by the doctor. Medications that are sold to remove the callus are not recommend as they can degrade the healthy skin and cause burns and more trauma. Dr. Soomekh recommends that they be sharply removed by the doctor. Dr. Soomekh will use a surgical blade to “shave” away the callus to the level of healthy skin. This will reduce or eliminate the pain from the extra pressure clauses by the callus. It is important to note that the callus will return if the underlying condition that caused the callus is not addressed. Common treatments are padding, change in shoes, custom molded orthotics, or surgical correction.