Published: 2011-08-03 10:53:58
Author: Sean Hartmen
When the feet are repeatedly exposed to pressure, most often caused by poor-fitting shoes or an inherited structural defect, irritating, unsightly and painful foot conditions, such as corns, calluses and blisters can form. Preventing the pressure that is causing the friction is key to avoiding and alleviating the symptoms that accompany calluses, corns and blisters. Generally simple at-home care and modifications of footwear can effectively treat and eliminate the pressure that is causing your foot problems. But when these treatments fail, it's best to visit your Scottsdale podiatrist for professional care.
A corn is a thickened growth of skin that forms on the toes when the bones push against shoes or other toes, creating friction against the skin. Hard corns typically develop on the top of the toe or on the side of the small toe, while soft corns are similar to open sores which develop between the toes. Corns are almost always caused from wearing restrictive shoes that place repeated pressure on the toes. But hammertoes and other toe deformities can be the source of their development as well.
The first and most obvious step for treating a corn is to stop wearing shoes that may be placing excessive pressure on the toes. Buy shoes that allow plenty of toe room, and if needed, ask your podiatrist about a corn foam pad that can prevent pressure and reduce further irritation to the affected area. A corn can be removed easily and painlessly by a podiatrist by shaving it with a scalpel. And if the pain persists and the corn isn't reducing in size, see you're podiatrist for professional care and treatment.
Similar to corns, calluses are areas of excess thickened skin that gradually develop due to repeated pressure and friction. Calluses typically cover a larger area than corns, however, and generally form on the heels or balls of the feet.
Like corns, the formation of a callus is often caused by poor-fitting shoes, and with proper fitting footwear and simple at-home remedies, the callus will usually reduce in size and disappear on its own. To remove the callus, try gently exfoliating the skin with a pumice stone. This is often enough to remove the excess skin and ease any pain or discomfort. Cutting away a callus on your own may cause more harm than good, so if you need assistance visit your podiatrist, especially if you suffer from diabetes. A professional foot surgeon or podiatrist can help alleviate callus pain by shaving the skin away and applying a pad to the affected area for relief.
Skin blisters are a common problem caused by friction from shoes or clothing that rubs repeatedly on the skin causing friction burns. As the outer layer of skin separates from the inner layers, the space between fills with lymph fluid. Causes of blisters most frequently include athletes wearing in new shoes, as well as athletes or walkers who take part in exceptionally long events such as marathons or long hill walks. Blisters do not need to be a part of sporting life and can be prevented.
From irritating corns and calluses to blisters, knowing how to detect these foot conditions and eliminate the pressure is important in order to stop the development. When conservative treatments don't work, talk to your Scottsdale podiatrist for professional care.