If you’ve noticed areas of thickness on your soles, or on or between your toes, you may be interested in callus or corn removal. But why get rid of these developments? Well, corns and calluses are spots where your skin thickens to protect itself from pressure. On their own, these areas aren’t a problem. Yet, if you don’t reduce the external pressure, the skin will keep on growing thicker until, at some point, it causes you pain and inflammation.
Now, despite the fact that corns and calluses are both areas of thick skin, and they both form in response to pressure, they are two different growths. As such, they’ll need different treatment options if you want to get rid of the growths and keep them from returning. In a minute, we’ll review those options. But first, let’s take a look at each, individual, formation.
What is a callus?
Calluses generally form on the bottom of the foot. This area of thick, dead skin usually stays on the surface of your foot. And, it’s not usually painful, though some people think that walking on a callus makes it feel like there’s a pebble stuck in their skin. The pressure that causes calluses to form typically comes from the force of your foot striking the ground when you walk.
What is a corn?
Corns typically develop on or between your toes. On the surface, corns are smaller. But, unlike calluses, they grow deep beneath the surface of your skin, often becoming painful. Many pressure sources can cause corns to form, whether they’re internal—coming from the structure of your foot—or external, coming from poor shoe choices or other lifestyle factors. And, because they are deeply embedded in your skin, corn removal is more complex than getting rid of calluses. For that reason, we’ll focus most of this post on correctly treating this growth on your feet.
Why Do Corns and Calluses Form?
As we mentioned earlier, corns and calluses are your body’s defensive response to pressure. But they are built-up areas of dead skin that can develop inflammation. So, while small corns and calluses may not be a problem, larger ones can cause serious foot pain. As such, we need to practice callus and corn removal to prevent further discomfort. Also, we have to address the underlying pressure source. Otherwise, those growths will keep coming back, causing serious frustration.
Corn Removal at Home: Avoid OTC Products
Walk into any drug store and you’re sure to see rows of products for callus and corn removal. They’re relatively inexpensive, and they all promise fast and effective result. Unfortunately, most don’t live up to those problems.
You see, as we reviewed earlier, corns penetrate deep beneath the surface layer of your skin. Yet OTC corn removal products can only remove the surface layer of your skin. As such, they can’t truly get rid of the problem.
Worse still, the chemicals used to remove the surface level of skin could make your corn appear more noticeable, or even give you a chemical burn! As such, it’s important to come into our podiatry practice in Powder Springs to effectively and safely treat your corns or calluses. Especially if you have diabetes, neuropathy, or any circulatory conditions, its simply not safe to try removing corns or calluses on your own.
In-Office Corn Removal
When we treat a corn, we have to remove both the surface layer of hard skin and the central core. To do so, we may need to remove some skin surrounding the corn to relieve pressure. (This procedure is called debridement.) But we also need to determine the other sources of pressure that caused your corn to form in the first place. Because, if we don’t, that corn will come back before you know it.
So, how can we take pressure off your feet? In some cases, a fix as simple as choosing better shoes will keep your corn from coming back. But, in other cases, you’ll need to wear custom orthotics after a corn remove to prevent recurrence. Or, if a condition like a bunion or hammertoe caused your corn to develop, we’ll also have to treat your bunion to prevent the pressure from building up again.
Now, we know that all of these steps might seem like a lot to go through for a simple corn removal. You may be reconsidering rolling the dice and choosing an over-the-counter treatment option and hoping for the best. But, here at Optimum Podiatry, Dr. Alvin Cowans works with every patient to find a lasting solution to every foot and ankle problem, big or small. So, if there’s an easy way to remove pressure from your feet after getting rid of your corn, that’s the treatment option he’ll present. But, if you need more involved care, please believe that’s the best path to follow if you don’t want corns or calluses to keep returning.
Corn Removal in Powder Springs
When you schedule a corn or callus consultation, you’ll receive a thorough foot exam. The goal? To accurately diagnose the source of pressure causing layers of skin to build up on your feet. Once we know what’s causing your condition, we’ll offer a customized treatment plan designed to deliver lasting relief, using the least invasive options available to you.
As we mentioned earlier, we have a range of treatment options when it comes to treating your calluses and corns. At the least invasive end of the spectrum, we could simply pad the skin that’s under pressure to prevent pain and swelling, then fit you for a custom orthotic to keep pressure away from your feet. (A change in foot gear will probably also have to happen.
But if these simple changes aren’t enough to relieve internal pressure on your feet? Or if foot deformities are the root cause of your corn or callus? At that point, we may need to recommend minimally invasive or traditional surgery to offer you a permanent solution. Of course, that sounds scary. But here’s the good news: when you come in with a small problem, the solutions are usually less invasive. So, as soon as you notice thickening of skin on your feet, make an immediate appointment in the office!