Corns, Callus, and Cracked Heels

Are you suffering from hard skin on your feet?

Corns, Callus, and Cracked Heels

Are you suffering from hard skin on your feet?

Corns, callus, and cracked heels are common foot conditions that affect many people. These conditions can be painful and uncomfortable, making it difficult to walk and perform daily activities. It is important to understand the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for these conditions to manage them effectively.

What are Corns and Calluses?

Corns and calluses are thickened areas of skin that develop on the feet due to repetitive friction or pressure. Corns are usually small and circular, while calluses are larger and more spread out. Both can be painful and uncomfortable, but calluses are often more difficult to treat. These conditions can develop on any part of the foot, but they are most common on the toes, balls of the feet, heels, and boney prominences.

Common foot conditions, corns, callus, cracked heels, Podiatrist Sydney, General Footcare

Common Types of Corns

There are several types of corns that can develop on the feet, including:

  • Hard corns: these are the most common type of corn and typically develop on the tops or sides of toes. They are usually round and small, and they can be painful when pressure is applied to them.
  • Soft corns: these are usually found between the toes and are softer and more moist than hard corns. They can be more painful than hard corns due to the moisture that can develop between the toes.
  • Seed corns: these are tiny, discrete corns that can be found on the bottom of the foot. They can be painful when pressure is applied, but they are usually not as noticeable as other types of corns.
  • Vascular corns: these are painful corns that can develop on the soles of the feet due to poor circulation. They are usually larger and more painful than other types of corns.

Why do Heels Crack?

Cracked heels are a common foot condition that occurs when the skin on the heels becomes dry and thick, causing it to crack. This can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Lack of moisture: dry skin is more likely to crack and split, especially on the heels where the skin is thicker. Moisturising regularly can help prevent this.
  • Standing for long periods: prolonged standing or walking can put pressure on the heels, causing them to crack. Wearing cushioned shoes or using insoles can help prevent this.
  • Obesity: excess weight can put added pressure on the heels, leading to cracks and fissures. Maintaining a healthy weight can help prevent this.
  • Medical conditions: certain medical conditions, such as psoriasis or diabetes, can increase the risk of cracked heels. Proper management of these conditions can help prevent cracked heels.

Signs and Symptoms

The signs and symptoms of corns, calluses, and cracked heels can vary depending on the severity of the condition. Common symptoms include:

  • Thickened, hardened areas of skin
  • Pain or tenderness
  • Flaky or scaly skin
  • Cracks or fissures on the heels
  • Itching or burning
  • Feeling as though there is a stone in the shoe

Causes and Risk Factors

Corns, calluses, and cracked heels can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Poorly fitting shoes: shoes that are too tight or too loose can cause friction on the feet, leading to the development of corns and calluses.
  • High heels or tight shoes: shoes with high heels or narrow toe boxes can put added pressure on the feet, leading to the development of corns and calluses.
  • Standing or walking for long periods: prolonged standing or walking can put pressure on the feet, leading to the development of corns and calluses.
  • Obesity: excess weight can put added pressure on the feet, leading to the development of corns, calluses, and cracked heels.
  • Abnormal foot anatomy: foot deformities or structural abnormalities can cause increased pressure and friction on certain areas of the feet, leading to the development of corns and calluses.

Prevention and Treatment

Prevention is key to avoiding corns, callus, and cracked heels. Here are some tips to help prevent these conditions from developing:

  • Wear comfortable shoes that fit properly
  • Avoid high heels or shoes with narrow toe boxes
  • Use cushioned insoles or pads to relieve pressure on the feet
  • Moisturise the feet regularly to prevent dry skin
  • Soak the feet in warm water to soften and reduce thickened skin
  • Use pumice stones or foot files to gently remove thickened skin

If corns, calluses, or cracked heels do develop, there are several treatment options available:

  • Over-the-counter remedies: there are a variety of over-the-counter creams, pads, and other products that can help treat corns, calluses, and cracked heels. These products often contain salicylic acid or urea to help soften and remove thickened skin.
  • Custom orthotics: if foot abnormalities or structural issues are contributing to the development of corns and calluses, custom orthotics can help redistribute pressure and alleviate discomfort.
  • Professional treatments: a podiatrist can offer a variety of professional treatments, such as trimming or debriding thickened skin, recommending topical ointments, or referring for surgery in severe cases.

When to See a Podiatrist

If corns, callus, or cracked heels are causing significant pain or discomfort, or if they are interfering with daily activities, it is recommended to see a podiatrist. A podiatrist can offer a professional diagnosis and recommend the most appropriate treatment options. However, you do not need to be in pain to seek the help of a podiatrist. If you are concerned about the appearance or would like to have them treated prior to pain developing, a podiatrist can painlessly treat corns, callus, and cracked heels.

Summary

Corns, calluses, and cracked heels are common foot conditions that can be uncomfortable and painful. These conditions are often caused by repeated pressure or friction on the feet, but they can also be caused by underlying medical conditions or abnormalities. Prevention is key to avoiding these conditions, but there are a variety of treatment options available if they do develop. If you are experiencing significant pain or discomfort due to corns, calluses, or cracked heels, it is recommended to see a podiatrist for proper diagnosis and treatment.

If you would like to have your feet free of corns, callus, and cracked heels, CLICK HERE to schedule an appointment.

Watch Shockwave Therapy In Action

FAQ's

Corns and callus both develop from the same thing, an excessive build up of skin cells. Where they differ is in their shape and position within the skin. A corn is a focal point of hard skin that penetrates into the skin, somewhat like a “plug” and often causes pain with direct pressure. Whereas, callus is most commonly superficial and more widespread, sitting on the top of the skin, in areas of high pressure and friction.

A common home remedy to remove corns and callus is by gently rubbing the affected area with a pumice stone after a warm shower. A podiatrist will skillfully and painlessly remove corns and callus via sharp debridement and enucleation. 

  1. Regularly moisturise your feet. Preferably with a urea based emollient.
  2. Avoid harsh soaps that dry out the feet.
  3. Wear proper fitting shoes with appropriate heel cups that offer cushioning and support.
  4. Gently rub callus with a pumice stone after a warm shower.

Corns and callus can go away naturally. Reducing the pressure and friction that causes corns and callus to develop can lead to their natural resolution. However, corns and callus on the feet often occur due to poor walking patterns and footwear choices. A podiatrist can determine the cause of corns and callus and advise on the most appropriate steps take take to reduce future recurrence.

Yes. Once cracked heels progress to the stage in which there is a complete break in the skin, this creates a portal of entry for bacteria, fungi, and viruses to enter.

Related Conditions

Achilles Tendonitis

Achilles Tendonitis

The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscle to the heel bone and is subject to repetitive stress. When the calf contracts, it pulls the heel up, and this movement allows us to push off our toes when we run, walk, or jump. Over time this can lead to inflammation, micro-tears, and tendonitis. The tendonitis can be located at the insertion point where the Achilles connects to the heel bone, in the middle of the tendon, or higher up where the tendon attaches to the calf muscle.

Learn more →

Jumpers Knee

Jumper’s knee

Patellar Tendonitis also known as Jumper’s knee is an inflammation or injury of the patellar tendon felt as pain, tenderness and functional deficit. This condition may interfere with or even end your patient’s sporting career regardless the age and is difficult to treat. Shockwave therapy offers a simple and immediate solution. The patient feels relief right after the first session and in several treatments the cause and the pain vanish.

Learn more →

Related Articles

What is Runners knee | How do you fix runners knee pain

A Quick Tip For “Runners Knee” – Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

Patellofemoral pain syndrome is a common cause of anterior knee pain that often occurs while performing sports that involve a lot of running or jumping activities. However, it can also occur when simply walking up/down stairs or squatting (activities that result in increased loads going through the knee).

Read more

Cracked heels or running shoes causing pain | How to fix pain from cracked heels and running shoes

Hard Skin or Shoes Causing Pain? The Solution is Simple!​

As the weather cools down, we start to see a big change in footwear which can result in pain. Change of footwear sees an increase in painful corns and callous, it isn’t always your shoes need changing, sometimes it’s just a little TLC for your feet.

Read more →