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Calluses and Corns - 2

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Calluses and Corns - 2

 

Cracking Skin
Very large, thick calluses can occasionally develop on the feet. They are most commonly found around the heel or under the big toe joint. Occasionally they become so thick and dry that the skin cannot stretch when weight is placed on the foot. When this happens, the skin cracks open, resulting in bleeding and painful fissures that are vulnerable to infection and difficult to heal. See a doctor if you have fissured skin that is painful or bleeding, especially if you have poor circulation, diabetes, or a history of poor healing.


  • If the fissured skin is not painful or bleeding, you can treat yourself by following these daily steps:
    Wash the skin with warm soap and water.
    Use a pumice stone to gently reduce the thick callus over time.
    Apply an exfoliating cream

For persistent or severe cracks, treating twice a day may be necessary. For the most stubborn cases, apply the lotion and then cover the cracked skin with a plastic wrap or a commercially available moisturizing neoprene wrap. Sleeping with the wrap in place for two to three consecutive nights can work wonders. Some over-the-counter "skin glue" products have recently become available. They are applied to the cracked skin, helping seal out infection and promote healing. Any crack that has not healed within one week of self-treatment should be seen by a doctor.

 

Pressure Ulcers
if untreated, corns and calluses-and sometimes blisters-can become open sores, or ulcers. If the pressure that caused the callus persists, eventuallly the skin and soft tisue beneath the callus can break down, resulting in an open sore. These sores are often referred to as pressure ulcers. They can masquerade as painful (or sometimes painless) red calluses. Pressure ulcers on the feet  are a concern because the pressure decreases blood flow. Walking or wearing shoes can prolong the healing process.

 

 

Like calluses, ulcers occur in area where the skin is subjected to excessive pressure or friction. This is why most mpressure ulcers are found on the bottom of the forefoot. People with diabetes, poor circulation, and numbness in the feet are especially vulnerable to pressure ulcers. Poor hygiene, poor nutrition, and poorly fitting shoes can also be contributing factors. But sometimes even wearing slippers or going barefoot around the house can lead to pressure ulcers.

 

The absence of pain is not always a good sign. a significant complicating factor of many pressure ulcers is the inability to feel the pain they cause. Sufferers may not even be aware that an ulcer is forming on their feet. Those with a " high pain threshold" or decreased sensation should visually inspect their feet daily.

 

Seed Corns (porokeratosis) 

Some calluses can develop a hard center much like a seed or a small stone in the skin. This type of callus is known as a seed corn or, more formally, porokeratosis. Seed corns are especially painful and difficult to treat, and they can be easily mistaken for plantar warts. It is best to have these calluses evaluated and treated by a podiatrist.

 

Three Steps To callus Care

The safest and surest self-care for calluses involves the three following steps:

 

1. Relieve the pressure on the callus
First and most importantly. you should relieve the pressure causing the callus by using padding, stretching or replacing your shoes, or modifying the insoles in your shoes.
 

2. Reduce the Thickness of Callus
Regular, gentle use of a pumice stone is safer than shaving the callus with sharp cutting tools. rubbing the callus with a pumice stone for one minute after bathing three to four times a week is an effective way for most people to reduce the thickness of a callus.

 
3. Soften and Moisturize
Apply exfoliating lotion or cream to the callus once or twice daily. (Do not apply lotions or creams between toes unless directed by a medical professional.)
 

Reference: Great Feet For Life: Paul Langer, DPM

 

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