The development of thick, hard layers of skin on the toes or bottom of the feet are known as corns and calluses. They develop when the skin tries to protect itself against friction and pressure. While they can both cause pain and discomfort, they are not the same thing. Calluses, which are not usually painful, develop on the soles of the feet, in particular under the heels, and vary in size and shape. Corns are typically smaller than calluses and have a hard centre, surrounded by inflamed skin. They typically develop on the tops, sides and even between the toes and can be painful when pressed.
Corns and calluses grow from pressure and friction which can be result of things such as: wearing ill-fitting shoes; wearing shoes without socks (which cause friction on the feet; and in relation to other foot conditions such as bunions and hammer-toe. Corns and calluses can become painful and inflamed leading to infection. People who suffer from diabetes or other conditions related to poor blood flow can suffer from complications from corns and calluses.
Treatment for corns and calluses usually involves avoiding the repetitive actions that caused them to develop in the first place. Other treatments include: wearing properly fitting and cushioned shoes and socks; soaking and scrubbing the excess skin with a pumice stone; moisturizing the skin to keep it soft; trimming away excess skin (which should always be done by a doctor); topical callus-removing medications or antibiotic ointments; and in extreme cases surgery.
BAREFOOTSCIENCE™ insoles are helpful aids for the prevention and treatment of corns and calluses. Unlike traditional orthotics that can be restrictive in their attempt to stabilize the feet, the Barefoot Science insoles provide stimulation to the otherwise isolated area of the foot to keep it strong. This minimizes collapse and friction which can lead to the development of corns and calluses.