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Corns and Callous

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What is the difference between a corn and a callous?

Corns are small, focal areas of thickened skin (hyperkeratosis) that can develop on any area of the skin that experiences chronic friction or pressure. They have a hard, waxy centre, and are often accompanied in long-standing lesions with underyling bursae (fluid filled sacs).  Corns can be extrememly painful when pressure is applied. 

Calluses are larger, flatter areas of thickened skin that commonly develop on the soles of the feet, or other areas that experience repeated friction or pressure. 

How are they treated?

We carry out your treatment with the highest possible standards of hygiene, with each of our instuments being sterilised to surgical standards. We gently reduce (debride) the hard skin which is generally entirely comfortable as there are no nerve endings in this extra skin. 

 

We will also advise you on how to care for your skin at home, and where needed we may suggest an off-the-shelf, or custom-made orthotic to reduce the pressure on the skin long-term.

Will the corn / callous return after treatment?

The corns and callous will only return if the friction / direct pressure continues on that area of skin.  For this reason our podiatrists will assess your feet to gain an understanding of the causes the pressure point, and advise on how to reduce or eliminate it. Where it is not possible to remove the pressure, the skin will duly thicken up and the problem will return.

What are the benefits of treatment?

The major benefits of treating your corns or callouses are to have greater comfort, and a return to healthy flexible skin.  However, if you have Diabetes, immunosuppression, poor circulation or impaired sensation etc you will be more at risk of ulcers forming under the corns and callouses due to the increased pressure in the area.  By debriding the extra skin, we reduce the pressure on the underlying skin (dermis) which reduces your risk of ulceration.

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