Corns and calluses are pretty common problems, which means they have a lot of misconceptions, folktales, and straight-up fibs told about them. In fact, you may even believe some of these misconceptions yourself! At Sierra Foot & Ankle, we’re tracking down the top four misunderstandings about these common skin problems on your feet.
Myth #1: Corns Grow From Roots in Your Skin
Completely false. A corn is a thickened area of dead—that’s right, dead—skin, which means they don’t have any living tissue. It looks different than a callus in the fact that it’s usually thick, circular, and conical. They can also become surrounded by red, inflamed skin. These patches of hard, painful skin appear on the tops of your toes. When the corn is located between your toes, it’s usually softer.
Calluses are located on the bottom of your feet, usually around the heel or ball of your foot. They’re rarely painful and are usually a flattened area of skin that’s more spread out.
Both corns and calluses form from excess pressure on certain parts of your foot. If you remove that pressure by wearing shoes that don’t squeeze your toes together or put too much stress on the ball or heel of your foot, you might be on the fast track to getting rid of your problem!
Myth #2: Corns are Contagious
No, they are not contagious, but they can grow back if you don’t change your habits. Say you have your thickened skin treated by a podiatrist like Victoria L. Melhuish, DPM, at Sierra Foot and Ankle (in fact, we do treat this problem with a variety of options in our office). We’ve removed your corn with either trimming, medication, surgery to realign a deformity, or an orthotics prescription. After it’s disappeared from your foot, you go back to life as normal. In fact, you might even go back to wearing those tight shoes that gave you the problem in the first place. Soon enough, the corn comes back in the same area. Does that make it contagious? No. However, that does mean that you need to keep that pressure off that area or else the bump may return.
Myth #3: Shaving off Your Corns and Calluses is OK
Now you’re just asking for an infection! It’s not safe to trim a callus or corn with a razor at home since you could seriously injure yourself. At our office, we can safely trim your corn or callus off quickly with the use of a sterilized scalpel. We can also use other methods mentioned before to remove your problem, like salicylic acid patches, ointments to reduce infection, orthotics or shoe inserts, and surgery to remove underlying deformities like hammertoes, claw toes, or bunions.
Myth#4: Corns and Calluses Will Go Away on Their Own
They will only go away on their own if you eliminate the friction and pressure that’s causing them. To prevent and treat this problem, make sure your shoes have enough room for your toes. Remember that cushion is key. Use pads or bandages from the store to cover your problem areas. Custom orthotics from our office are also a good way to realign your foot and eliminate the irregular pressure on certain parts of your foot, whether it’s caused by a certain arch type or a foot deformity.
Get your facts straight. If you need any help for the calluses and corns on your feet, don’t listen to these myths! Get the proper treatment at Sierra Foot & Ankle in either Carson City or Gardnerville, NV. To make an appointment, call our office at (775) 783-8037. You can also find our office on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter!
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