Preventively against calluses and corns
Although it may be taken as a general rule, the adage “Better to prevent than to cure!‘ fits like a glove in these very common conditions which can affect all of us: calluses and corns.
Calluses and corns are clusters of dead skin cells, thickened and hardened. This is a natural defense reaction of the body in order to protect itself from the constant pressure exerted on the skin, friction etc.
Even though in a pathological sense of the words there are no differences between the two terminologies, calluses are actually a more advanced form of corns. Although most cases of calluses are located on the foot (sole, heel, toes), depending on the type of physical activity performed, corns can occur on the hands or knees too. Corns and calluses can affect anyone, without exception!
- Preventively against calluses and corns
- Calluses and corns causes
- Calluses and corns treatment
- Calluses and corns complications
Calluses and corns causes
The only way in which these conditions can occur is by applying repeated pressure and/or friction on the skin surface.
The most common causes for the appearance of corns and calluses are:
– Improper footwear (narrow shoes that squeeze the feet);
– Conformation (close fingers or flat feet);
– The existence of a prominent bone (and mounts);
– Impairments involving high pressure on some parts of the body (an abnormal gait);
– Handling of objects without protection (tennis racket, rake, broom, etc..)
– Walking barefoot.
Calluses and corns treatment
Although the accumulation of dead skin is unpleasant to the sight and touch, corns and calluses do not require treatment unless they cause pain. Thus, the first step in curing the condition is removing the object or avoiding the activities that caused the friction and pressure on the affected areas in the first place. After this period of “sparing” you can proceed to removing the dead skin formations. The most simple and convenient ways are the use of salicylic acid (on the corn only, it mustn’t touch the healthy skin) and of pumice – after you soak the skin in warm water for 15 minutes.
Surgery is not common solution to treat corns and calluses. However, if the harmful pressure on the skin is the result of a protruding bone, surgery to correct the malformation may occur.
Be careful; do not turn yourself into your own surgeon! In order to the avoid risk of complications or infections of the skin, do not try to remove calluses using sharp objects (razors, scissors or knives).
Calluses and corns complications
Besides the pain when walking and / or wearing shoes, calluses and corns, if untreated, can grow into other inflammatory conditions: vesicles (blisters), infections of the bone structure and of the skin, or ulcers (common in diabetics). Although calluses may apparently seem very common, a visit to the doctor’s is a must because some preexisting conditions may determine changes in the clinical treatment.
Therefore, if you have diabetes or circulatory problems, you should not be removing the dead skin areas yourselves.
A medical consultation is indicated if the dead skin formation is identified on surfaces or areas on which there is no pressure or friction applied. The reason for this is that you could be facing genetic problems (congenital hardened areas of skin) or a malignant tumor – skin cancer.
Trust us, prevention is the best solution! And when “prevention” means a real minimum of effort, so mush discomfort and pain really seems not worth it! So, here are a few ways to avoid the discomfort caused by the appearance of calluses and corns:
– Wear comfortable shoes only, shoes that suit perfectly the length and width of the foot; adjust the shoes using padding;
– Choose the right socks! A sock too small can cause friction, while a too big one can get cluttered inside the shoe and apply pressure;
– If you need to use tools that exert pressure on the hands, use gloves;
– Use the pumice regularly! However, do not overdo it, especially if you are used to walking barefoot! If the sole skin is too thin it can easily be hurt (the heel skin also);
– Make the use of creams and emollients your hygiene routine for the feet and hands, in order to maintain an optimal level of hydration.