Corns are thickening of the skin that normally appear in areas of pressure or friction. The best known are those that occur on the heels, but in addition to these, hardness can be found on the foot in other areas of the plant.
Corns are generally not considered as any disease and the population as a whole believes that having corns is within the normal range. This consideration has its nuances since the skin does not have to have this thickening and only one that is exempt from them can be considered normal skin.
It is important to distinguish the hardness of the callus. Hardnesses do not have a nucleus towards the interior of the tissues, unlike calluses, they are usually more extensive on the surface but less deep. They are not directly related to a specific bony prominence, but tend to affect large areas of the sole in which areas of bony prominences and padded areas alternate.
Who produces it?
In the case of hardness on the heels, the cause that produces them is not so directly related to the increase in pressure or friction.
Generally, in summer, women’s shoes are usually open at the back, leaving the heel uncovered. This circumstance causes, on the one hand, dryness of the skin that is in the air, which favors the formation of hardness due to dehydration . On the other hand, since the heel is loose, it causes a knocking of it on the sole of the shoe that causes the appearance of hardness. The heel is not held by the heel of the shoe and every time the person walks, he gets up and hits the sole again and again during the walk.
There are different diseases that also cause the formation of calluses in the heels, such as palmar-plantar keratoderma, psoriasis or different metabolic disorders of the body. Certain alterations in the feet cause increased pressure on the heel. This is the case of valgus or varus heel deviations, which transfer the load to the internal or external side respectively.
Why and how is it produced?
Corns and calluses appear as the body’s defense mechanism against external aggression. In the case of the hardness of the heels, this aggression is caused by the tapping of the heel against the sole of the shoe, when the foot is found without support during the march. Also, the deviation of the heel into valgus or varus causes an increase in pressure in a specific area of the heel, which predisposes to the appearance of calluses in this area.
The skin has several layers, the outermost or superficial being the epidermis. In the epidermis we find a protein called “keratin”, which is responsible for giving strength and resistance to our skin. In conditions of excessive pressure or friction, the deeper layers of the skin (germinative or forming epidermal cells) generate excess epidermal cells, these cells contain keratin which causes it to accumulate in the epidermis, thus initiating the formation of hard skin .
Corns and calluses cause pain because they are in friction areas and act as foreign bodies that dig into the tissues.
It has been shown through analysis of calloused or helomatous skin that the reason for the increase in cell generation at the dermal level is associated with the inflammatory process that occurs when this area of the finger rubs against footwear. Inflammation releases substances at this level that stimulate epidermal cell growth. If there are also alterations or deformities in the feet, the chances of conflict with the footwear increase. To avoid this, we must choose a shoe that does not press on the foot and allows it to house its real volume.
In addition to situations of excessive pressure, there are skin diseases that can cause hardness, as in the case of psoriasis or palmar-plantar keratoderma, which cause an increase in the generation of epidermal cells.
Footwear that is open at the back leaves the heel in the air, favoring the loss of water from the skin by evaporation, which makes it drier and flaky and can crack and break more easily.
Symptoms of corns
The calluses of the heels produce the following symptoms:
- Pain and inability to put on shoes or walk.
- Thickening of the skin extending over the horseshoe-shaped heel.
- Cracks or breaks in the skin that are itchy and itchy.
How is it diagnosed?
The simple thickening of the skin evenly and spread out on the heel can be diagnosed as hardness. An important aspect to take into account is to diagnose the cause that produces it, which will determine its treatment. It will be necessary to differentiate between the corns that are produced by an increase in pressure and those that are produced by a dermatological disease.
We will have to look for relationships with types of feet prone to hardness, which will be those who have structural or support problems, or those who wear open shoes from behind, leaving the heel in the air.
Diseases such as psoriasis or keratoderma usually affect other areas of the body apart from the soles of the feet.
Carrying out a radiological study can complement our diagnosis, since it can show us the situation of the foot bones and their angulation with respect to the ground, which determines the formation of hardness. In the case of hardness in the heels it is important to determine the alignment of the heel.
A skin biopsy may also be done to confirm the exact diagnosis of the lesion. This procedure would be reserved for those cases in which it is necessary to differentiate the callus from other more serious lesions.
Treatment for calluses on the feet
Corns and calluses are as old as man, and their remedy has been a cause for concern throughout their history.
The use of callicides or patches to eliminate corns is totally contraindicated. These agents only cause burns to the skin and rarely solve the problem. Burns or wounds caused by callicides are one of the first reasons for consulting the Podiatrist. Its treatment is slow and complicated and implies ailments added to those caused by corns.
The podiatrist will therefore be the qualified professional for your treatment, which consists of cutting the hardness into thin layers until reaching the base of the injury. Elimination of the problem significantly reduces pain. The feet are very grateful after these treatments and the patient can return to his normal life without pain and with comfort when walking and putting on shoes.
It is important to make sure that we are in the hands of the right professional for your treatment and that they have the required professional qualifications. Often there are people or unqualified professionals who treat corns and calluses and that can cause serious problems for our health in general. The Podiatrist will use specific techniques and instruments to solve your problem. In addition, it can advise you on definitive treatments for calluses and will inform you of the most suitable shoe for your foot type.
Calluses and corns can often be solved by studying the problems that cause them. The choice of good footwear, associated with specific treatments such as the application of moisturizing creams or ointments can help to solve the problem.
The Podiatrist will guide you about the use of these treatments and will design the most appropriate for each problem.
There are a series of tips that can reduce the appearance of hardness on the feet:
- Do not abuse the use of open-back shoes, such as sandals or clogs. These produce hardness in the heels.
- Use moisturizers to soften the hardness. Creams that contain urea, salicylic acid, lactic acid, etc. They are the most appropriate for this effect. Consult your podiatrist about the most appropriate concentrations for your problem.
- Use orthopedic insoles prescribed by your Doctor or Podiatrist that help the foot to walk correctly and in this way avoid excessive support on certain areas of the sole of the foot.
- Visit your Podiatrist at least once a year.
Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.