Hard Skin and Corns (Callous and Heloma Durum)

Callous is an accumulation of hard skin on the sole of the foot. It is part of the body’s defence system against friction and excessive pressure, however if too thick can become painful. Hard skin is usually found over the ball of the foot, the side of the big toes and the heels, this is because these areas are more exposed to rubbing from shoes.

Callous can also be found alongside corns which are plaques of hard skin that have developed under areas of high pressure – they are usually covered with a layer of hard skin, have distinct circular appearance from a small plug of hard skin and when direct pressure is applied patients usually experience severe pain. Corns can also appear in between toes from rubbing on the joints of another toe, these are usually soft corns where the hard skin has not developed over the top but the small plug of skin is still present. Seed corns are another variety of corn that can cause pain despite their tiny size, usually lying underneath a layer of callous.

These are all very common skin conditions that for many patients can be very uncomfortable but with the help of a skilled podiatrists can be removed, enucleated and filed to feel much better. Your podiatrist will analyse the cause of your corns or hard skin: it may be mechanical, footwear or anatomical. From there the podiatrist will help you to control your hard skin or corns with a change of footwear, an insole, silicone wedges/caps and will always give you advice on the best treatment for yourself.

Tips for Preventing Corns and Callous:

  • Wearing appropriate shoes for the shape of your foot.
  • Wearing socks with shoes.
  • Avoid wearing slippers.
  • Wearing shoes with a strap or lace to avoid the foot moving in the shoe.
  • Applying moisturiser daily.
  • Filing the hard skin weekly.
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