All Podiatrists Treat Corns and Calluses- True or False
The answer is false, although most podiatrists do. Medicine has become specialized, even within each field, and Podiatry is no exception. Some Podiatrists specialize in Sports Medicine or Foot and Ankle Surgery and have very little to do with the trimming or paring of corns and calluses. Our doctors at Podiatry Care Specialists, PC have a passion for treating all aspects of any foot problems; corns, calluses, nail conditions, sports injuries, as well as foot and ankle surgery.
The Difference in a Corn vs. a Callus
Corns and calluses are both accumulations of dead skin, usually due to excess pressure. The human body recognizes this extra pressure and forms layers of protective skin cells to pad these areas. This excess skin, usually found over bony pressure areas, does not cause pain. However, if the buildup becomes great enough, and the area has too much dead skin protection, it can result in pain, blistering, ulceration, and infection.
A corn, by definition, is a small, circular, hard particle or seed. In the foot, this is usually present on the tops of the toes or over another bony area such as a bunion. A callus is a thickened area of skin that forms as the result of friction. It is flatter and more spread out, and usually occurs on the bottom of the foot, most commonly on the balls of the feet, sides of the feet, and heels.
Prevention of a Corn or Callus
Our main focus at Podiatry Care Specialists, PC is the prevention or reduction of corns or calluses to alleviate the pressure that’s causing them in the first place. This involves taking a detailed patient history which will include discussing what type of shoes you wear the majority of the day, your activities during the day, and your recreational activities. You may walk to work, have a job that requires a lot of standing or walking, workout on a treadmill, walk the dog, hike on rough terrain, or play golf on the weekends. All of these activities cause different types of pressure on your feet and we will educate you about the pros and cons of different shoe gear for these activities. Wearing the proper shoe gear will greatly reduce the amount of pressure on these “at risk” areas. We may also place pads in certain areas of your shoes to help you. In addition, you may ultimately benefit from some sort of orthotic or pre-fabricated arch support device in your shoes to balance your feet out biomechanically. By controlling the way you walk and the way in which your foot strikes the ground, we have had success reducing and eliminating the painful aspect of corns and calluses. Our podiatrists feel that meeting this head-on from a prevention standpoint coincides with our philosophy of keeping you active and pain-free without constantly visiting the doctor’s office.
Of course the initial treatment must be to reduce the problematic skin growths. This must be done professionally by a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (D.P.M.). Never use a sharp object such as a razor blade or scissors on your corns or calluses, especially if you have diabetes or circulatory problems. You may be inclined to reduce them mildly with a blunt instrument such as a callus scraper or fine sandpaper, but if you should be too aggressive, you are putting yourself at risk for dangerous lacerations. In addition, you should STAY AWAY FROM CORN REMOVER TYPE PRODUCTS! These products contain acid which will burn not only the dead skin on the surface of the corn or callus, but penetrate deeper as well as into the surrounding areas of skin. A chemical burn will ensue which can lead to ulcers and infections. Again, those with diabetes and circulation compromised patients are at an even greater risk if they use these products.
As you can see, corns and calluses can be a lot more complicated and complex condition than originally thought. Why not schedule a visit with one of our doctors at Podiatry Care Specialists, PC Our various southeastern Pennsylvania locations and office hours are for your convenience. Call our (877) 905-5907 number today!
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