Monday, 5 March 2012

Are Those Really Corns on Your Feet?

Are Those Really Corns on Your Feet?

Are Those Really Corns on Your Feet?
There are several conditions that affect the feet that are very similar. You may think you have foot corns, for example, but in fact you may have foot calluses. So how do you know for sure? Well, while they may be similar from some points of view, they all have their specific traits that differentiates them from one another.

But first of all, let's see what corns on feet are and how they manifest. Foot corns are usually thickened areas of skin which are caused by applying too much pressure on the foot. Shoes usually apply pressure on the top of the foot, thus the toes are more likely to develop foot corns, as well as the under the ball of the foot or between the toes. They cause much discomfort and are painful and unsightly.
Compared to foot calluses, corns are quite different. Corns on feet are spherically shaped calluses of dead skin. Foot calluses are also areas where the skin has become toughened and thick and hard. Calluses tend to be flatter, thicker and far more extensive. They may cover the whole of the ball of the foot. In fact, you may have a callus, and have a corn on top of it!
Callused skin on the feet comes as a result of repeated friction, pressure or other irritations. The most frequent cause for their appearance is poor foot mechanics or badly fitting shoes. While corns on feet usually appear on the upper side of the foot, calluses develop on the sole of the foot, especially where the first metatarsal bone joins the big toe, but also on the heel. They are generally not harmful and don't hurt as much as foot corns, but they can be more dangerous; as skin ulceration and infections may appear.
Corns appear as a thickening of the skin on the toes. This thickening appears as a cone-shaped mass pointing down into the skin. A corn can occur over a callus or be surrounded by calluses. It has been observed that a corn is a thicker and more focal area, while foot calluses are more diffuse thickenings of the skin.
A common cause that leads to the formation of corns and calluses are hammertoes. A hammertoe is a condition resulting from keeping the toes tight and bunched up for a long period of time. Most frequently, they result from wearing inappropriate footwear or from foot abnormalities. Tight shoes force the toes to bend and keep them in that bent position for a long period of time. This causes toe muscles to shorten, which results in the toe having the appearance of a hammer. Thus the name "hammertoes". Because the toes are bent upward, they are prone to developing foot corns and calluses.
Both corns on feet and foot calluses are normal and natural ways in which the body protects itself. Both calluses and corns may go away by themselves eventually, but if you want to get rid of them more quickly, there are some treatment options worthy to be taken into consideration. These include using a callus shaver, salicylic acid treatments, alcohol free Goldenseal extract, medicated pads among others. Remember that tight-fitting shoes though are best avoided.
Jane Rivero writes on foot health and personal wellness. She recommends getting corns on feet checked by a podiatrist, as if the root cause is not found they will return time and time again. If you want to find out why you get foot corns and what you can do to stop them, a trip to the podiatrist is the best bet.


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