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Corns and Calluses: A Complete Guide

Corns and calluses: we've all heard of them, but do you really know what they are? And more importantly, do you know how to deal with them? In this complete guide to corns and calluses, we'll answer all your questions and show you how to get rid of these pesky skin problems for good.

What’s the Difference Between and Corn and a Callus?

First let’s talk about the difference between a corn and a callus (yes, they are different!).

Corns are small, round growths of hard skin that often form on top or in-between the toes. Corns are caused by friction and pressure on the skin from ill-fitting shoes, hammertoes, and bunions that cause the toes to crowd or overlap.

 Calluses are larger, flat areas of thickened skin that usually form on the soles of the feet. Calluses are often caused by a structural issued called plantarflexed metatarsal.  When one of the bones if your foot, called a metatarsal, is dropped down or plantarflexed, it creates a pressure point and thus causes a callus to form.

Both corns and calluses can be extremely painful, but there are ways to treat these conditions and prevent them from happening again.

How We Treat a Corn

To treat a corn, we start by shaving off any dead skin build-up. This process is painless and only take a few minutes. Then we really focus on reducing the pressure and/or friction that caused the corn. If your corn is located in-between the toes, we want to keep the toe separated with a gel toe-buddy. This is just a small silicon device that you wear in between your toes to prevent them from rubbing together. It is comfortable to wear and can be washed for multiple uses. Use it until you lose it!

If you have a painful corn on the top of your toe, after shaving the dead skin, we recommend using a hammertoe crest pad or budin splint. These devices will help straighten out your toe, so it no longer rubs against your shoe and causes a corn.

How We Treat a Callus

Calluses are treated a little different. Just like with a corn, we will shave off any excess skin build-up. Afterwards, we recommend a combination of treatments to prevent calluses in the future.

First, we recommend using a product called Mod Pod Heal. Heal contains a multi-tasking mix of essential oils combined with Urea. Urea is a powerful keratolytic, which means that eats away at dead skin to prevent the build-up of calluses. This will help keep any callused areas on your feet smooth.

In addition to using Heal, we recommend using Mod Pod Hydrate. Hydrate is an ultimate hydration balm that is rich in moisture, but super lightweight on your skin. It will take the texture and turgor of your skin to the next level leaving it glowing for days. 

Since many calluses are caused by plantarflexed metatarsals we also recommend custom orthotics. We can design the orthotic to relieve the pressure points on the bottom of your foot and prevent future callus formation. To learn more about custom orthotics, check out this blog.

Do NOT Use Over-the-Counter Callus Remover Pads. These are actually very harmful to your healthy skin. I once had a patient come in with an ulcer from using a callus remover pad. It’s best if you give us a call at 859-264-1141 or schedule an appointment online with one of our experts. We can help get rid of your corns and calluses so you can go about your day pain-free.