Published on Jan 30, 2018 and last reviewed on Jun 26, 2019 - 2 min read
If the skin on your feet feels hard, rough, dry, and painful while walking, it might be corn or callosities. Reach out to a doctor now.
Corns and callosities refer to the localized thickenings of the skin that appear over sites of repeated trauma and pressure.
Corns are well-demarcated small areas of thickened skin most commonly seen over the dorsolateral aspect of the fifth toe but may be seen at other places also. They are conical in shape with the apex pointing inwards into the tissue and hence are tender on vertical pressure. Paring reveals a central nucleus. Soft corns are located in the third and fourth toe web spaces.
Calluses are diffuse non-tender areas of thickened skin with indefinite borders commonly present in areas of repeated friction. The normal skin markings can be seen over callosities and they lack a central nucleus.
Plantar warts constitute 25 to 35 % of all warts. They begin over pressure points like heels, heads of metatarsals, below toes, and the forefoot as small, shiny, sago-grain papules. They soon become well-defined and rounded and develop rough and hyperkeratotic surface with a surrounding collar of thickened horn.
A mosaic wart results due to the confluence of multiple lesions into one large, usually flat lesion.
Reveals the skin markings to be discontinuous over the warts.
Plantar warts may be differentiated from corns and callosities on clinical grounds as outlined above.
Plantar warts commonly recur despite treatment. Hence, avoidance of nail-biting, use of rubber gloves during swimming and sticking to the use of one’s own towel and clothing can prevent their further spread to other areas and to others. Various modalities of treatment are:
For more information consult a warts specialist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/dermatologist/warts
Identifying and treating the cause will solve the problem, but if it does not, try the following:
- Soak the affected part of the body like hands or feet in warm water for 10 minutes.
- You can file the corn using a pumice stone.
- Apply salicylic acid or moisturizer to the corn.
- You can use commercially available corn pads.
Repeated pressure and friction results in the formation of corns. In the foot, this pressure can be due to wearing ill-fitted shoes and not wearing socks, and in the hands due to playing instruments or using hand tools.
Corns have a hard center, which is surrounded by red and inflamed skin. Corn can be hard, soft, or seed. In the foot, corns are commonly seen on the top, sides, and in between the toes.
If you eliminate the cause, that is pressure or friction, corns usually go away.
The treatment options of plantar warts are:
- Topical salicylic cream.
- Liquid nitrogen.
- Laser treatment.
Infection with human papillomavirus (HPV) causes plantar warts. This virus can enter the body through cuts and cracks on the bottom of the feet. There are many known strains of HPV, among which, only a few can cause warts.
The HPV (human papillomavirus) strains that can cause plantar warts can enter the body through cuts or other weak areas in the feet. This virus lives in a warm and moist environment, so the virus can infect you if you walk barefoot on grass, bathrooms, and swimming pools.
It takes around 2 months for plantar warts to go away without treatment. Without treatment, it can take about 6 months to 2 years.
Most plantar warts go away on their own. But it is advised to consult a doctor to eliminate all other causes, and your doctor can suggest home remedies or other treatment options.
Wart removal procedures can be painful. But to prevent you from feeling any pain, the doctor will numb the area with the help of local anesthesia.
Electrosurgery, which is the surgical removal of warts, is often done when all other treatment options fail. Here, a fine needle is used to burn the wart, but it can result in a scar.
The strains of HPV that cause plantar warts are not that contagious, so you will not get infected that quickly.
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