Usually, preventing friction is the only treatment needed. If a corn is the result of a poor-fitting shoe, changing to shoes that fit properly will usually eliminate the corn within a couple of weeks. Until then, protect the skin with donut-shaped corn pads, available in pharmacies. If desired, use a pumice stone to gently wear down the corn.
Calluses on the hands can be treated by wearing gloves during activities that cause friction, such as gardening and weight lifting.
If an infection or ulcer occurs in an area of a callus or corn, unhealthy tissue may need to be removed by a health care provider and treatment with antibiotics may be necessary.
Calluses often reflect undue pressure placed on the skin because of an underlying problem such as bunions. Proper treatment of any underlying condition should prevent the calluses from returning.
Corns and calluses are rarely serious. If treated properly, they should improve without causing long-term problems.
Complications of corns and calluses are rare. People with diabetes are prone to ulcers and infections and should regularly examine their feet to identify any problems right away. Such foot injuries need medical attention.
Calling Your Health Care Provider
Very closely check your feet if you have diabetes or numbness in the feet or toes. If you have diabetes and notice problems with your feet, contact your health care provider.
Otherwise, simply changing to better-fitting shoes or wearing gloves should resolve most problems with corns and calluses.
If you suspect that your corn or callus is infected or is not getting better despite treatment, contact your health care provider. Also call your health care provider if you have continued symptoms of pain, redness, warmth, or drainage.
Review Date : 7/10/2009
Reviewed By : Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine; C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Dept of Orthopaedic Surgery. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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