Your skin isn’t stretched evenly over your body. It’s much thicker in places that get a lot of use, like the soles of your feet, and quite thin in delicate areas, like your eyelids. Certain variables can change your skin, though. Outside forces can lead to the development of painful corns and calluses. These hardened, thickened patches can make it uncomfortable to wear shoes and walk normally.
Protection Gone Wrong
Your skin protects your body structures from pathogens, and works hard to protect itself from damage. Thick skin is less likely to split under pressure, so it tends to be denser in active places, like the feet. Even there, though, pressure and friction can stress the skin. Repeated rubbing from shoes and walking irritates the feet. The body’s response is to make the skin thicker. The patches under stress begin to build up extra layers of dead skin, creating corns and calluses which both appear as waxy, dry spots. Though similar, these two skin problems are slightly different.
In weight-bearing areas where the spots stay flattened, like your soles and the bottoms of your toes, they are called calluses. On the tops of your feet where your body weight doesn’t squish the skin, the build-up tends to be raised and conical in shape. These are corns. In some cases, this extra skin is harmless—it does its job of preventing friction from irritating the skin. In many cases, however, this protection strategy backfires for your body. These thickened patches become a source of additional pressure and make your feet even more uncomfortable. They can also dry out and increase your risk of fissures, opening the body to infections—which is a particularly dangerous risk if you have a condition like diabetes that compromises your immune system.
Softening the Skin
Treating corns and calluses isn’t hard, but it is important to relieve any pain you may have. Ignoring a problem in your lower limbs can result in more serious concerns later. Our expert staff here at Country Foot Care will evaluate your feet and look for underlying issues that could be causing the friction that has led to your condition. They may also provide you with soothing moisturizing cream to soften your skin and help you manage your foot care so that your excess skin is safely trimmed away without damaging healthy areas
Remedying skin problems on the feet includes both correcting the problem and preventing reoccurrence as much as possible. Our podiatrists will carefully pare down the thickened patches, relieving pressure from them. They may also provide you with medication to soften your skin in the hardened areas. Then they can recommend strategies to limit the rubbing that resulted in the issue originally. You may need to change your footwear to more comfortable, cushioned models. You may also need orthotics to correct any biomechanical deficiencies that contributed to the problem. When conservative treatments fail to provide relief of corn and callus pain, surgical intervention may be needed.
Calluses and corns may not always cause discomfort, but when they do, they can limit your mobility. The more they rub on your footwear, the worse the problem becomes. The entire Country Foot Care staff is waiting to help you. You have two options to make an appointment; either online using the REQUEST AN APPOINTMENT button located at the top of this page or by phone to one of our Nassau County locations during normal office hours.