There is a rumor that calluses actually got the name from the famous ancient Roman scientist and medical writer Aulus Cornelius Celsus. Whether this is true or not, it is a fact that during your lifetime you will have walked enough to travel around the Earth at least three times. It is also true that when walking each time your heel lifts off the ground it forces the toes to carry one half of your body weight. Which means your feet are probably bound for a corn or callus or two.
Corns and calluses share the same pathology. They are both hardened areas of skin, or hyperkeratosis, caused by pressure. While a callus is thick, flat and diffuse, a corn will be more local, conical and possibly surrounded by inflammation. Typically a corn will be located on a toe and a callus on the ball of the foot.
Both corns and calluses are considered a defense mechanism of the body. That particular area of skin hardens because it is constantly being irritated. It may be from an abnormal gait, ill fitting shoes or repetitive type occupations.
Many people find corns and calluses to be no big deal. However, for some they are a cosmetic concern, and if it is painful or if blood develops under the callus it is time for a visit to a Des Peres foot doctor. It means the deeper layers of tissue and nerves are being irritated and this could cause further issues.
Typically treatment consists of using salicylic acid to soften the area and then hygienic trimming. A Des Peres podiatrist will talk with you to determine what the underlying issue is that formed the corn or callus and take steps to prevent it in the future. If this step isn’t done, and the pressure isn’t taken off the area the corn or callus is always going to return.
If you find yourself troubled by a corn or callus, call our Des Peres foot clinic today.