Skin is the body’s largest organ, and it has a tough job of keeping us safe from external threats. One of the ways it does this is by building up hard, thickened patches when subjected to friction or pressure. However, these corns and calluses can sometimes cause problems of their own. Fortunately, they can be treated and prevented.
Corn and callus treatment options include:
- Medication. We may prescribe or recommend patches containing salicylic acid and provide directions on how often to replace the patch and steps to take before applying a new one. To reduce your risk of infection, we may also recommend the use of antibiotic ointment.
- Trimming away excess skin. Before we further discuss this, it is important to know that we do not condone the use of “bathroom surgery.” Although paring down the thickened skin may be necessary, this procedure should only be performed in the safety of our office by a medical professional with sterile instruments. This is essential for reducing your risk of damage or developing a potentially serious infection.
Options that can straddle the line between treatment and prevention include:
- Shoe inserts. Underlying foot deformities can cause corns and calluses, but custom orthotics (especially padded ones) may prevent recurring cases.
- Surgery. In very rare cases, you may need a surgical procedure to correct a misaligned bone that causes the friction.
Prevent corns and calluses in the first place:
- Wearing footwear that fits correctly. When you buy shoes, make sure you can freely wiggle your toes. If you cannot, the pair is too tight and you need to try a larger size.
- Using protective coverings. Bandages, felt pads, and non-medicated corn pads can be placed over areas that rub against the inside of shoes. You might also benefit from the use of lamb’s wool between your toes to prevent corns from developing.
Advanced Foot and Ankle provides professional corn and callus treatment, but there are many other foot care services we offer as well.