Corns and Callous
Thickening of the skin is the body’s defence against friction and pressure of everyday walking. This prevents the skin from splitting when walking. When the pressure is severe enough a callous (thickened skin) will develop directly over the area where the pressure is applied. When this pressure is applied in the same position for long enough, eventually that skin will thicken more than the surrounding skin causing a very specific type of thickened skin called a corn.
When the foot is functioning normally the pressure is distributed relatively evenly across the bottom of the foot. When there is excess rolling in of the feet the pressure patterns are changed which causes corns and callouses to develop.
Our innersoles help to prevent corns and callouses by equalizing the pressures on the sole of the foot when walking; this limits the amount of pronation (rolling in). If there are already well developed corns and callouses, professional treatment by your Podiatrist will be required for optimal results.
Continue reading below for a more complex description
Corns and Callouses Explained in Detail
Corns and callouses (hard skin) are common problems associated with the feet. They are debilitating and painful to the general population and can be a risk factor of infection for “at risk” patient groups such as diabetics.
Corns and callouses usually develop over the bony prominences of the feet due to the increased pressure at these locations. When supporting the body weight in walking and running the pressure on these areas increases dramatically as the skin is effectively pinched between the bones of the foot and the ground. This triggers a protective thickening of the skin. A common misconception is that corns are living tissue and have roots. Corns are actually nothing but dead skin.
Callouses are a thickening of a section of the skin (stratum conium) in response to mechanical pressure. The skin thickens in response to this pressure in order to protect itself from splitting. You will find callouses in most areas where there is increased pressure on the skin, such as the heels and the balls of the feet.These are common areas for callouses to develop.
Unfortunately when callous tissue develops in an area it is harder than surrounding skin tissue. This hardness causes increased pressure now directly resulting from the callous formation (similar to having a stone in your shoe). Now that there is an extremely localized area of pressure application the skin thickens and hardens even further and forms a corn. Corns are most commonly cone shaped with the apex pointing towards the foot. When pressure is applied to the base of the corn this pushes the point of the corn into the foot usually resulting in a sharp stabbing pain.
Corns and callouses are found more often in people who are on their feet all day. Poor fitting footwear is another factor in the development of corns. Tight fitting footwear that constricts the forefoot will cause corns to develop on the dorsum (top) of the foot and toes.
Initial treatment of corns and callouses involves a visit to the local podiatrist for the corns to be removed and the callous tissue to be pared down.
Once this is done the factors that are causing the corns and callouses can be addressed such as excess pronation and skin dryness.
Excess pronation is treated with the use of docpods innersoles and also docpods soft steps. Dry skin is best treated using an emollient (moisturizer) containing 10-25% urea cream such as “Eulactol Heel Balm”/”Eulactol for very dry skin”. When applied daily this will keep the skin supple and may retard the growth of corns and callouses.
In general the best outcomes arise from a regime of regular treatment by your podiatrist, foot innersoles and the regular use of a suitable emollient.