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Our feet help us to balance, walk, run and propel us to the equivalent of five times around the earth's surface in an average lifetime.
When we walk or stand, our body weight is carried first on the heel and then on the ball of the foot, where the skin is thicker, to withstand the pressure. When this pressure becomes intense, growths, in the forms or Corns and Callus, may appear.
A callus is an extended area of thickened skin on the soles of the feet, and occurs on areas of pressure. It is the body's reaction to pressure or friction, and can appear anywhere the skin rubs against bone, a shoe, or the ground.
Most calluses are symptoms of an underlying problem like a bony deformity, or a particular style of walking, or inappropriate footwear. Some people have a natural tendency to form callus because of their skin type. Elderly people have less fatty tissue in their skin and this can lead to callus forming on the ball of the foot.
You can control a small amount of hard skin by gently rubbing with a pumice stone, or chiropody sponge every time you are in the bath. Regularly rubbing cream, prescribed by an appropriate professional, into the skin will also help.
If the callus is painful and feels as if you are walking on stones, consult a State Registered Chiropodist who will be able to advise the best treatment. State Registered Chiropodists can remove hard skin, relieve pain, and redistribute pressure with soft padding, strapping, or corrective appliances which will fit easily into your shoes. The skin should then return to its normal state.
There are two main types: hard and soft
These are the most common and appear as small, concentrated areas of hard skin up to the size of a small pea, usually within a wider area of thickened skin or callus, and can be symptoms of feet or toes not functioning properly.
Don't cut corns yourself, especially if you are elderly or diabetic, and don't use corn plasters or paints which can burn the healthy tissue around the corns. Home remedies, like tying lambswool around toes, are potentially dangerous. Commercially available 'cures' should be used only following professional advice.
You could use a pumice stone to remove the thickened skin a little at a time, or relieve pressure between the toes with a foam wedge, but if you are unsure of what to do, or need special attention, consult a State Registered Chiropodist who will be able to remove corns painlessly, apply padding or insoles to relieve pressure, or fit corrective appliances for long-term relief.
These develop in a similar way to hard corns. They are whitish and rubbery in texture, and appear between toes, where the skin is moist from sweat, or from inadequate drying. A State Registered Chiropodist will be able to reduce the bulk of the corn, and apply astringents to cut down on sweat retention between the toes.