It’s Not You, It’s Your Shoes!

Corns and calluses are typical skin foot problems that can develop simply due to the type of shoes that you wear. Thickened skin that develops on the top of the toes are called corns, while thick skin on the bottom are called calluses. While not contagious or life threatening, they can be unsightly and even painful. 

When you start to develop corns and calluses, take a good look at your shoes. While walking, try to pinpoint areas of increased pressure and friction. Are the tops of your shoes too tight? Maybe the outside of the pinky toe is being rubbed against shoes as well. In particular, high heels can cause problems because excessive pressure is placed on the balls of your feet, which can lead to hardened skin.

Those who have deformities in the feet can be more prone to developing corns and calluses. Those with bunions, hammertoes, or curled toes tend to develop corns due to the shape of the toes. 

Treatment for Corns and Calluses:

  • Take a good look at your shoes. If you have shoes that cause you pain, it’s time to donate or throw them away. For those of you who have foot deformities, try finding shoes with a roomier toe box so that the tops and sides of your toes are not being rubbed. 
  • Always wear socks with your shoes. Not wearing socks can increase friction on the skin of your feet. 
  • For some corns and calluses, you can soak your feet in warm water and then use an emery board or pumice stone to file down the thickened skin. Do not continue if it is painful. 
  • Use padding in your shoes to reduce the friction from your shoes. There are inserts for the balls of the feet or heel cups that can secure your feet to reduce sliding around. 
  • Podiatrists can also assist in removing or reducing thickened skin by trimming it, using salicylic acid, or performing surgery if the problem is caused by a deformity or other foot issues. 

If corns or calluses are bothering you and the simple at-home treatments are not working, make an appointment at Alamitos-Seal Beach Podiatry Group to find the best solution. Our board-certified podiatrists, Dr. Douglas H. Richie, Dr. Jeremy L. Cook, and Dr. Faye E. Izadi can check your feet at either of our Seal Beach, CA or Los Alamitos, CA offices in Orange County.