Corns and Calluses: Hard Skin Patches
They are a familiar aspect of life for active people. Anyone who spends enough time on their feet or working with their hands will develop them: corns and calluses. These lesions aren’t always a problem. Sometimes, however, the built-up skin can cause pain for your feet.
Laying Down Extra Layers
Corns and calluses are both patches formed by extra layers of dead skin. They build up naturally as a response to friction and pressure. Corns are typically raised, rounded, or cone-shaped bumps that appear on the tops or sides of your toes or feet. Calluses are large, flat lesions that appear under weight-bearing areas of your lower limbs, like the heel and ball of the foot. They may be prone to cracking or splitting, too, particularly on the heels. Although these two conditions are different, they both tend to be hard and rough to the touch. They may be dry, waxy, or flaky as well.
Both are your body’s attempt to reduce the damaging friction against the feet. As footwear rubs against your lower limbs, the spots under the highest pressure or friction chafe. To protect that spot from injury, your body creates a thick patch of skin. In many cases, these patches are relatively harmless. They might not cause pain or difficulty wearing normal shoes. Other times, however, they are a problem for your feet. They may be painful under pressure, contribute to cracked skin, or signal biomechanical problems.