Corns and calluses are dead skin that occurs due to friction of the foot while the foot is in motion. Calluses are found on the bottom of the foot and most noticeably around the heel, at the metatarsal heads, tips of the toes, along the outside of the big toe and big toe joint, and along the outside of the little toe. There are two types of corns, soft corns and hard corns. Hard corns occur on the top of the toes and are most noticeable on the top of the little toe and across toes 2,3, and 4 and soft corns are found between the toes.
Symptom of Corns and Calluses
Calluses at their early stage feel as though you have something inside your shoes. As the calluses get larger and deeper into the foot, nerves begin to get compressed and pain will sometimes occur. Hard corns as they continue to rub against the top of the shoes will get irritated and sometimes blister and open. The rubbing of the shoes on the sore will continue to make the corn worse and add to the pain. Soft corns are between the toes and often times will be very painful due to the compressing of the nerves that go between the toes.
Cause of Corns and Calluses
As we have discussed, corns and calluses are due to the abnormal friction caused by the foot moving outside its normal movement inside a shoe. This abnormal movement can be directly caused by a variety of muscular/skeletal breakdowns, such as high arches, tight calves, hammer toes, leg legth differences, knee and hip deformities, Hallux Rigidus, or metatarsalgia, just to mention a few. To eleminate the corns or calluses and prevent them from coming back, we must determine the actual cause and then manage the treatment of those causes.
Treatment of Corns and Calluses
All corns and calluses will go away on their own over a period of time as long as the actural cause is addressed. But sometimes having a doctor remove most of the corns or calluses allow the treatment to work faster. As the causes are addressed the fit of a shoe can make this process more comfortable and will also prevent the condition from getting worse. Having a shoe properly fitted with a deeper toe box anbd rounder toe shape for corns will give some relief. Having a shoe with better support may reduce the friction on the balls of your feet which in directly causes the calluses. Silicone gel tubes can be put over a hammer toe to reduce friction, while insoles made of plastizod material would help in reducing the friction of the bottom of the foot. These are all short term solutions for temporary relief. To elliminate the abnormal friction all together one must support the foot and bring the range of motion of the foot back into the perrameters of a normal foot. This is best done by being fitted for custom made foot orthosis by a Pedorthist.