| Corns Versus Calluses
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Corns Versus Calluses

Corns Versus Calluses

Most people will develop corns, calluses, or both at some point in their lives.  Whether you are someone who runs every day or wears certain types of shoes, our bodies develop corns and calluses in order to protect the sensitive skin on our bodies.  While corns and calluses have many similarities, they are not the same thing and also have various differences.  Understanding the similarities and differences between corns and calluses can help patients to reduce or eliminate any pain or feelings of discomfort they may be feeling due to the corns and/or calluses.

First, it is important to understand what corns and calluses are.  Corns are hard patches of thickened skin that are typically found at the bottom or sides of the feet, which are pressure points.  They are made up of dead skin with a central core, and they can cause pain.  Calluses are a thickening of the outer layer of the skin and are painless.  They can occur anywhere on the body that experiences constant friction.  Corns and calluses are caused by many of the same things, such as improper gait and poor-fitting shoes.

If you are not sure if you have a corn or a callus, you can schedule a visit with your doctor who can perform a physical examination or potentially scrape part of the skin off for testing if needed.  Corns can lessen when the pressure in the particular area stops.  For example, is you are wearing high heeled pumps that are putting pressure on your toe, you may develop corn.  Switching to a different pair of shoes will help to reduce the presence of the corn.  In addition, using a moleskin pad to help cushion the corn can provide a patient with pain relief.  If the corn has become infected, oral antibiotics may be necessary.  For calluses, moisturizing cream and pumice stones may be able to help shave down the thickened outer layer of the skin.

Even better than the treatment of corns and calluses is prevention.  There are a few steps people can take to prevent corns and calluses.  First and foremost, it is important to have your feet measured in a shoe store in order to buy properly fitting shoes.  It also helps to shop for shoes at the end of the day after feet have already naturally swelled, to ensure you are not buying shoes that are too small.  Ensuring you replace your shoes when needed is also important to ensure your feet have proper cushioning.

Corns and calluses are very common occurrences that almost everyone will experience at some point in their lives.  While calluses can be uncomfortable, and corns can be painful, there are ways to help make living with them more comfortable.  While there are treatments available, the most important goal is prevention.  Once you have developed corns or calluses, it is very difficult to remove them completely.  Therefore, taking steps to prevent them, such as wearing properly fitting shoes, and walking correctly is key.  Corns and calluses are a normal part of life.  Fortunately, they are not life-threatening, and the pain or discomfort can be managed in a variety of ways.

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