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Corns, calluses, bunions

corns calluses bunions

A variety of bumps and lumps can occur on the feet, but what are they and what can be done about them? Of these, corns, calluses, and bunions are among the most common. Those with diabetes or circulation disorders should have their feet examined regularly by a podiatrist for these and other disorders.

 What are corns, calluses, and bunions?

Corns and calluses

Thickened patches of skin, with a rough, dull appearance, are known as corns and calluses. Corns and calluses are the same thing but in different areas of the foot. Thickening on the bottom of the foot is a callus, while thickening on the top of the foot or toe is a corn. They become painful when too thick.

Bunions

Bunions are a type of bump at the joint where the big toe and foot meet. They become painful if left untreated, and the joint may become stiff and sore. Over time, it may become difficult to move the toe, and wearing shoes may become difficult. They may also occur along the little toe.

What causes them?

Corns and calluses

Corns and calluses form when the toe rubs excessively against the inside of the shoe or from excess pressure on the foot. Corns are particularly common in women who wear high heels and in those with certain foot conditions such as hammertoes.

Bunions

Bunions form when the bone or foot tissue move out of place, causing the toe to bend towards the others. Bunions form due to abnormal motion and pressure over the first joint of the big toe. Foot injuries, neuromuscular disorders, and congenital deformities may also lead to bunions. Those with flat feet or low arches, as well as those in jobs that put extra stress on the feet, are prone to bunions. An additional factor is wearing shoes that are too tight.

How are they treated?

Corns and calluses

If corns or calluses are mild, they may not require treatment beyond changing your shoes or adding padding over the affected areas. If they get worse, your podiatrist will help you to understand and correct the causes. If they become too large, however, your podiatrist may reduce or remove them by shaving down the dead, thickened skin. Corns and calluses that are excessively painful may require cortisone injections, and in extreme cases, possible surgery.

Bunions

The first step in treating bunions is to change your shoes. Look for shoes with a wide, deep toe box, and to avoid shoes with heels higher than two inches. Your podiatrist may also recommend bunion pads or ice packs. If changing your shoes or using padding don’t provide relief, your doctor may offer pain medication. Shoe inserts, made by your podiatrist, may also be an option. Should conservative treatments not offer relief, your podiatrist may recommend surgery.

Prevention

Corns and calluses

To prevent corns and calluses, wear properly fitting shoes and use padded inserts to reduce friction and pressure. If you have deformities of the feet or toes, your podiatrist will help you choose the best shoes for your feet.

Bunions

To prevent bunions, wear shoes with a wider toe box, or more space at the toe end of the shoe. If you have flat feet or low arches, your podiatrist may suggest custom orthotics to insert in your shoes for support.

For concerns about corns, calluses, bunions, or other foot conditions, contact Kansas City Foot Specialists at 913-338-4440.