Our feet play an important role in getting us around. When we walk or stand, our feet carry the burden of our body weight, as well as bearing the various pressures of movement and the constraints of footwear.
Sometimes pressure placed on the foot becomes out of balance and extra friction falls on particular areas of the foot. When this happens, the body may respond to the pressure by producing thickenings in the surface layer of the skin. These hard patches of skin are called calluses and are part of the body’s defense system to protect the underlying tissues. If the cause of pressure is not relieved, calluses become painful.
If pressure becomes concentrated in a small area, a ‘hard corn’ may develop. Sometimes the pressure of the corn or callus may produce inflammation which can result in acute pain, swelling and redness.
Sometimes ‘soft’ corns may form between the toes where the skin is moist from sweat or inadequate drying. These appear white and rubbery and are also caused by excessive friction.
Corns and calluses are most often found on the balls of the feet and the tops of toes. They can also be found on heels and even along the sides of toenails.
Your podiatrist will not only recommend ways to relieve pain and get rid of the corn or callus, but can also help with isolating the cause and preventing the problem recurring. If you feel you may be developing a callus or corn, or you already have one, the best thing to do is seek professional advice and treatment from your podiatrist.