Corns and Calluses
Corns and calluses are protective layers of compacted, dead skin cells. They are caused by repeated friction from skin rubbing against bony areas or against an irregularity in a shoe. Corns ordinarily form on the toes and calluses on the soles of the feet. The friction and pressure can burn or otherwise be painful and may be relieved by moleskin or padding on the affected areas.
Never cut corns or calluses with any instrument, and never apply home remedies, except under a podiatrist's instructions.
Corns are common foot conditions that occur from repeated pressure on the foot, such as rubbing of the skin against a shoe, wearing no socks with shoes, or foot deformities. Women are more likely to develop corns due to wearing high heels. Corns come in three different forms: hard corns, soft corns, and seed corns. Located on the top or outside of the little toe, hard corns look like a compressed patch of hard skin with a dense core. Soft corns are found between the toes while seed corns develop on the heel or ball of the foot. All corns can be painful. Other symptoms include:
Hard patch of skin (hard corns)
Thin skin with smooth center (soft corns)
Circle of dead skin (seed corns)
If corns are no longer exposed to friction they can heal by themselves. Moleskin pads may relieve the pressure if it is impossible to reduce friction. Over the counter (OTC) corn pads with medication are available but be wary; the salicylic acid on the corn pad may cause a chemical skin burn and an infection. Seek medical attention if your corn gets cut, discharges pus or fluid, or if you have diabetes because of the increased risk of infection. If an infection does occur, a physician can make a small incision to drain the corn and prescribe an oral antibiotic.