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Corns, like calluses, develop from an accumulation of dead skin cells on the foot, forming thick, compacted and hardened areas. Corns contain a cone-shaped core with a point that can press on a nerve below, causing pain. Corns are a very common ailment that usually form on the tops, sides and tips of the toes.
Corns that form between the toes, although can still be very painful, are sometimes referred to as soft corns.
Callus formation is the body’s defence mechanism to protect the foot against excessive pressure and friction. Calluses are normally found on the ball-of-the-foot, the heel, and the inside of the big toe. Under pressure, corns may also develop at these sites.
Treatment and Prevention of Corns and Callus
There are very simple ways to prevent and treat the corns:
- wear properly fitted footwear with extra room in the toe box (toe area)
- avoid shoes that are too tight or too loose
- use an orthotic or shoe insoles specifically made with materials that will absorb shock and forces on the foot – ask our clinicians for advice
- avoid tight socks and stockings to provide a healthier environment for the foot
- use a good moisturising foot cream containing 10% urea regularly. This will help keep skin soft and supple, which will help prevent corns and callus from developing.
If you already have corns or callus build-up on your feet, visit our clinicians at We Fix Feet who will be able to reduce the callus and enucleate any corns painlessly.
What Causes Corns and Calluses?
Some of the common causes of corn development are tight-fitting footwear, high heeled footwear, tight-fitting stockings and socks, deformed toes, or the foot sliding forward in a shoe that fits too loosely. Soft corns result from bony prominences and are located between the toes. They become soft due to perspiration in the forefoot area.
Calluses develop because of excessive pressure at a specific area of the foot. Some common causes of callus formation have been highlighted above. Other causes may be abnormalities in the gait cycle (walking motion), flat feet, high arched feet, bony prominences, and the loss of the fat pad on the bottom of the foot.
Wherever there is friction and pressure on the foot, callus and corns are likely to develop.