There’s something on my foot………Callus or Corn?

There’s something on your foot but you’re not too sure what. It may be hard or might be causing pain. Everyone is telling you it’s something different and you’re unsure of what to do?

Have no fear, your friendly podiatrist is here!

These are questions asked to us on a daily basis, do I have callus or a corn on my foot? What is the difference between them? How did it get there?

Let us here at the Diamond Valley Foot and Ankle Clinic help differentiate between the two to make it easier for you to identify and make booking an appointment that much easier now that you have some idea of what your treatment may require.

Picture 1 reference: www.askboard.com

Callus
Hyperkeratosis, most commonly known as callus, are areas of hard skin. These areas form when increased pressure is applied to the foot. This increase of pressure causes the skin cells to grow at an increased rate, causing the formation of this hard thick yellowish skin.

It may not be painful, or might only cause irritation when pressure is applied, however symptoms are different for each person. Footwear and activities can impact upon callus formation. Your podiatrist can advised on ways to reduce callus formation and implement devices or padding to offload these areas.

Treatment:
– To remove the callus your podiatrist will use a tool called a scalpel to safely and painlessly scrape away the hardened skin to an appropriate and ideal thickness.
– Your podiatrist may then use a tool similar to a sanding disc to smooth the skin to a comfortable thickness.
– If your callus is causing pain or growing back all too fast you podiatrist may complete a biomechanical assessment to further assess gait patterns which may be causing an increase in pressures applied to the feet.
– Change of footwear, padding or orthotic devices may be explored

Corns
Corns come in all shapes and sizes and can be found in many places on the feet. It is very common to have corns between toes and on the top or bottom of joints. Corns are a localised areas of harder and thicker skin which usually have a circular shape, like a cone- with the circle being what we see on the surface of the skin and the point going inwards.  Corns are also formed by excessive pressure and torsional (twisting) movements (eg dancing, court sports).

Picture 2 reference: www.ldfootcare.com

Treatment:
-To remove a corn your podiatrist will use of scalpel to safely circle around the corn site to remove the hard central portion of skin.
– In some cases your podiatrist may use a chemical called silver nitrate to slow down the progression of the corn. This chemical leaves the skin with a blackened coloured.
– Your podiatrist may provide devices to separate the toes- depending on the location of the corn
– If your corn is causing pain or growing back fast your podiatrist may complete a biomechanical assessment to further assess gait patterns which may be causing an increase in pressures applied to the feet.
– Change of footwear, padding or orthotic devices may also be explored

**We STRONGLY advise that treatment be performed by a podiatrist who is qualified to safety and correctly treat your areas of corns and or callus.

We hope these descriptions have helped you to better understand what might be on your foot and why it’s there. All feet are different and will always have hard skin in different areas for differing reasons!

Please don’t hesitate to contact us at the clinic for an assessment or drop by and say hi or give us a call if you have an questions!

We hope to be keeping your feet happy, healthy and comfortable!