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Corns and Calluses

Corns, calluses and warts are areas of thickened skin irritations that can occur on the foot. Calluses are thick, painful skin irritations that can occur on the bottom of the foot. If the thickened area is on top of the toes, we call it a corn. Corns are usually caused by shoes pressing against the toes. They are made worse if the toe is crooked or contracted (hammertoe). These areas generally represent areas of excessive pressure or friction in shoes or while walking on hard surfaces. Caution should be used whenever using any type of corn or callus removers because these medications contain acids that burn the thickened skin off. If you have diabetes, you should never use these medications without a physician's guidance. These irritations will generally reoccur after use of these medications because the source of irritation is still present. Home remedies might include shoe cushions or pads, and if they are between the toes, cotton or pads might be used. Warm water soaks and then buffing with a pumice stone may help. Creams and lotions may be of some temporary help.

Warts are hard areas that most often occur on the bottom of the foot and are called plantar warts. The bottom of the foot is called the plantar aspect of the foot, thus the name plantar warts. Plantar warts are caused by a viral infection of the skin. They do not have roots or seeds, they only live within the full thickness of the skin. Because a virus causes them, they can spread. They are not highly contagious, but will often spread to other areas of the foot. If you have plantar warts, do not pick at them and do not share your shoes with others. There are over-the-counter wart removers. They generally do not work because the skin is so thick, and it is difficult for the medicine, which is an acid, to penetrate to the depth necessary to kill the wart. Warts can be difficult to treat even for your doctor. Some can be quite persistent; so, it is best to catch them early and get treatment before they become established.

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