SOME MEDICAL FACTS
Calluses & Corns are a secondary problem! They are a symptom of a more serious primary problem with your feet. If you do not address the primary problem causing your Calluses & Corns; they will return in a short time. Foot Calluses and Corns are caused by the way you walk; “your gait”, in combination with how your shoes rub and cause friction due to the abnormal gait in your steps. To stop the Calluses & Corns from returning time and again; you must adjust your walking gait. This is achieved using an inner sole (Custom Orthotic) to adjust the position of your foots components (heel,toes,ankle) which then normalizes your steps. A custom made Orthotic eliminates the risk of Calluses & Corns returning.
A Callus is an area of skin which has become relatively thick and hard in response to repeated friction, pressure, or other irritation. Rubbing that is too frequent or forceful will cause blisters rather than allow calluses to form. Since repeated contact is required, calluses are most often found on feet because of frequent walking in combination of an abnormal walking gait. Calluses are generally not harmful, however some can be extremely painful and may sometimes lead to other problems, such as skin ulceration or infections.
Normally, a callus will form on any part of the skin exposed to friction over a long period of time. For example, people often develop calluses on the middle finger of their dominant hand due to writing with a pen or pencil. Another cause is from playing string instruments like the guitar or the violin; calluses will develop on the four fingers of the hand used in holding the strings down to the fingerboard, and sometimes on the fingers of the hand used for pizzicato or strumming.
Calluses are also very common on the fingers of bass guitar and double bass players who use both the pizzicato and slapping techniques. This also applies to rock climbers on almost all of their fingers. There are many activities that can result in the formation of a callus, which may even be viewed as a badge of experience and commitment to the activity. On the feet, calluses may form on the small toes due to the compression applied by tightly fitting shoes. Activities that are notorious for causing calluses include (but are not limited to) construction work, many sports, wood carving, playing musical instruments, use of a chef’s knife, rock climbing, hiking, martial arts, weight training, rowing, BMXing, dancing (especially ballet), chopping wood, monkey bars and wearing high heels. Tenpin bowlers will often develop calluses on their thumbs and occasionally their middle fingers from frequent bowling. Although often found on the foot (where the most pressure and friction are applied), calluses can occur anywhere on the body as a reaction to moderate, constant “grinding” pressure. It is the natural reaction of the palmar or plantar skin. Too much friction occurring too fast for the skin to develop a protective callus will cause a blister or abrasion instead.
Biologically, calluses are formed by the accumulation of terminally undifferentiated keratinocytes in the outermost layer of skin. Though the cells of calluses are dead, they are quite resistant to mechanical and chemical insults due to extensive networks of cross-linked proteins and hydrophobic keratin intermediate filaments containing many disulfide bonds.
Sometimes a callus occurs where there is no rubbing or pressure. These hyperkeratoses can have a variety of causes. Some toxic materials, such as arsenic, can cause thick palms and soles. Some diseases, such as syphilis, can cause thickening of the palms and soles as well as pinpoint hyperkeratoses. There is a benign condition called keratosis palmaris et plantaris, which produces corns in the creases of the fingers and non-weight bearing spaces of the feet. Some of this may be caused by actinic keratosis, which occurs due to overexposure to sun or with age and hormonal shifts.
A corn (or clavus, plural clavi) is a specially shaped callus of dead skin that usually occurs on thin or glabrous (hairless and smooth) skin surfaces, especially on the dorsal surface of toes or fingers. They can sometimes occur on the thicker palmar or plantar skin surfaces. Corns form when the pressure point against the skin traces an elliptical or semi-elliptical path during the rubbing motion, the center of which is at the point of pressure, gradually widening. If there is constant stimulation of the tissue producing the corns, even after the corn is surgically removed, the skin may continue to grow as a corn.
The hard part at the center of the corn resembles a funnel with a broad raised top and a pointed bottom. Because of their shape, corns intensify the pressure at the tip and can cause deep tissue damage and ulceration. The scientific name for a corn is heloma (plural helomata). A hard corn is called a heloma durum, while a soft corn is called a heloma molle.
The location of the soft corns tends to differ from that of hard corns. Hard corns occur on dry, flat surfaces of skin. Soft corns (frequently found between adjacent toes) stay moist, keeping the surrounding skin soft. The corn’s center is not soft however, but indurated.
The specific diagnostic workup and treatments for corns may differ substantially from other forms of calluses.
Corns and calluses can make a person feel as if they are walking on stones.
The following signs or symptoms may indicate that there is a corn or callus:
- a raised, hardened bump
- a thick and rough area of skin
- skin that is flaky and dry or flaky and waxy
- pain or tenderness under the skin
If a corn or callus becomes very inflamed or painful, the patient should seek medical advice.
Patients with poor circulation, fragile skin, or nerve problems and numbness in the feet should talk to their doctors before treating corns and calluses at home.
The doctor will examine the skin where a corn or callus has formed. Diagnosis is based on symptoms and visual observation of the corn or callus. They are easily distinguished by:
- Location—Corns usually only form on or between the toes.
- Degree of pain—Corns are usually quite painful, while calluses are usually painless or only slightly painful.
In order to distinguish a corn or callus from a wart , a doctor may pare the lesion with a sterile scalpel blade. Paring of a callus reveals layers of yellowish keratin; paring of a corn reveals a central translucent whitish yellow core, as opposed to the thrombosed capillaries and multiple bleeding points seen in a wart.
The following measures may help reduce the risk of developing corns and calluses:
- Fit custom made Orthotics to adjust your walking gait and eliminate Calluses & Corns.
- Wearing well-fitting socks and footwear can help to prevents corns and calluses.
- Wash the feet with soap and water every evening. Use a scrubbing brush.
- Apply a specially moisturizing foot cream after washing and drying them well. Do not use a body lotion.
- Wear well-fitting shoes and socks with seams that do not rub the skin.
- Shop for shoes later in the day, when the feet are at their largest, because feet swell slightly as the day progresses.
- Deal with any foot pain or skin irritation as it arises.
- Have a regular check up with a foot specialist.
- When trimming the toenails, cut straight across, and not down at angles or over the edges.
- Use a pumice stone or foot file regularly, and remove hard skin gently.
- Wear clean socks every day and use talcum powder to prevent sweating.
- Protect the hands when using tools, either with padded gloves or by padding the tool handles.
With treatment, corns and calluses can be removed, but they are likely to return without changes to the root cause of the Calluses or Corns. The root cause will be a combination of walking gait (how you take steps) and stance, (how you stand for long periods) these changes can be bought about by custom made Orthotics.
A 2ft custom made Orthotic puts an end to your foot pain caused by this painful condition.
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Your custom made 2ft Orthotic supports all three of your foot arches not just one. It is designed to realign the ankle joint so the centers of gravity correctly transfer the compression forces of your body down to the ground correctly. This ensures that your standing stance and walking gait normalize and work as designed. The inbuilt torsion & compression bars take the strain off of the Plantar Fascia and assist in putting a spring back intro your every step making it easier to walk and run. Our Orthotic is a marvel of engineering and it can significantly change your life. Try it on and you will never look back.
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Home Based Therapy
Many people treat corns and calluses at home, using over-the-counter products from a pharmacy.
- Soaking the corn or callus in warm water for 5 to 10 minutes, then filing or scraping the area with a pumice stone. Circular or sideways motions help remove dead skin.
- Using moisturizer every day on the feet. Products that contain salicylic acid, urea, or ammonium lactate help soften the dry skin to prepare it for filing.
- If repetitive actions are causing the corns and calluses, avoiding these actions can often solve the problem.
- Shoes and socks that fit properly, protective pads or insoles, and other self-care measure can help. Foam or silicone wedges may be used between the toes to reduce pressure on a corn. Orthotics are custom-made padded shoe inserts which may help people with an underlying foot deformity.
The standard treatment for corns and calluses is salicylic acid, which is also used in wart treatment.
This is a keratolytic, which means it dissolves the protein, or keratin, that makes up the corn and the dead skin around it.
It is available in creams, pads, and plasters, or it can be applied using an applicator or a dropper.
The top of the skin will turn white, and the dead tissue can be cut or filed away.
Once the corn or callus has gone, the individual can soak and rub down the area with a pumice stone each week, if the hard skin shows signs of from coming back.
Salicylic acid comes in different concentrations. Stronger doses may work faster, but it will need a prescription.
The ingredients can irritate surrounding skin, so care should be taken when applying it. Do not use this on a cracked corn or callus.
Surgery: “Not Recommended”
Frequently, some types of surgeries are performed to remove or reduce Calluses and Corns. These range from scraping the skin, shaving the dead skin or complete removal of the Callus or Corn using a scalpel. When removing the Callus or Corn back to soft skin there can be a recovery time as this surgery post surgery phase can be quite painful. Walking can be difficult and crutches may be needed.
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