Corns and calluses 

Watch this video to find out how to treat corns and calluses (areas of thick, dry, hard skin on the feet that can be very painful).

How to prevent corns and calluses

Transcript of Corns and calluses

My name is Emma Supple, I work in a clinic in Enfield called Supple Feet

and for the NHS as a podiatric surgeon.

Corns and calluses are areas of thickened skin

that form these hard-pressure areas that can be very sore.

They're not very common in young people because their skin is very supple,

it's still growing, they've got movement and flexibility.

If you don't get a corn and callus treated,

then it may just stay the same and gradually thicken up,

but it can also become the site of an ulceration,

and that's very important as we're dealing more

with people who are diabetic and diabetic foot care

because a corn or a callus that becomes an ulcer is a significant problem.

Corns and calluses do need to be looked after long term

because they're a problem that just doesn't disappear.

The treatment is really essentially the same.

What you have to do is the three-step mantra to looking after your feet.

The first is to scrub your feet daily,

not just getting them wet in the bath and letting the suds slosh over them.

What I need is a proper scrubbing brush to scrub the dirt off

because I really do believe that dirt is a major irritant on the skin

and starts to form hard, horny layers, very difficult to shift.

The second thing to do is after you've scrubbed them clean,

you use a good moisturiser.

The good foot creams out there have urea-based cream and they're very good.

The urea sits on the skin, pulls the water into the epidermis

and really helps to moisturise the skin.

The first thing is wash your feet, the second thing is moisturise your feet

and the third thing is be careful with your shoes.

If you have an area of shoe that's rubbing on an area,

that will blister up.

If the blister doesn't stop you from wearing that shoe,

it will thicken up to try and protect it.

Things that you can do at home to stop corns and calluses,

a lot of people go to the pharmacist and pick up corn plasters.

I really would recommend that you stop,

put the corn plaster back and go and get some professional advice first.

Corn plasters contain salicylic acid,

which softens and almost ulcerates the corn sitting there.

You don't want to do that if you don't know what it is.

It could be a verruca, it might be an ulcer, it might be an infection.

You really need to see your podiatrist.

Look them up in Yellow Pages or look them up on feetforlife.org

Find someone, find out what it is

and then they can gently remove it, tell you how to prevent it,

give you the insoles you need to stop it coming back.

At-home treatments with corn plasters

we really, as a profession, don't recommend.

Having said that, there are corn plasters available

that haven't got any acid in them

and they've just got a hole to take the pressure off.

They are fantastic for corns that come in between your toes.

If you have a nasty corn and a nasty callus

and it's due to a bony prominence,

then you can have surgery to address the underlying bony problem

and then the corn and the callus will naturally resolve.

Otherwise it's long-term management,

using the moisturising,

making sure you've got cushioning pads, using insoles,

any type of thing to offload pressure off that particular spot.

Do go and see your podiatrist.

Regular debridement of these lesions, paring them down,

gently paring them down, painlessly removing them is invaluable,

and then doing some at-home treatment really helps look after them

and keep them to the point where they're just a bit of thick skin

and not hurting you, that's important.

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