Ah, summer, the season of smells. Food smells wafting through…
There are a lot of beautiful people out there with ugly feet. After all, if there are any good excuses to wear killer heels, walking a red carpet or runway is surely bound to be right there at the top of the list. Sarah Jessica Parker, Meg Ryan and Emma Stone are just a few of the celebrities who admit to orthopedically suffering for their art, which can mean a lot of opportunities for paparazzi at podiatrist offices.
Calluses are often the painful and unfortunate consequences of a good pair of shoes gone bad. But, if the thought of abandoning the Loubatins is too horrific to consider and you don’t want to keep the foot doctor on speed dial, then its probably time to learn how to deal with callouses.
What Causes Calluses and Corns
The American Academy of Dermatology defines calluses as thickened areas of skin resulting from friction or pressure. They develop naturally to protect the skin beneath them. Board certified dermatologist Nada Elbuluk, MD, FAAD says, ” Calluses can develop anywhere on the body where there is repeated friction, such as a guitar player’s fingers or a mechanic’s palms. Corns typically develop on the tops and sides of the toes and on the balls of the feet, and common causes are arthritis and poorly-fitting shoes.”
Although they are frequently mistaken for plantar warts, plantar warts have tiny black dots on them which are actually small blood vessels. These warts tend to be most painful when the side of the wart is under pressure, whereas calluses and corns are most painful when direct pressure is applied.
Treating Corns and Calluses
- Soak in warm water. Soaking corns and calluses in warm water for five to ten minutes will soften the skin.
- File callus or corn with a pumice stone. After the skin is softened, soak a pumice stone in warm water and use it to gingerly file the callus or corns. Use sideways or circular motions for dead skin removal. Be careful to avoid taking off too much skin, as doing so may cause bleeding or infection.
- Apply moisturizing cream to the area every day. Choose a lotion or cream that contains ammonium lactate, salicylic acid or urea. These will help to soften corns and calluses gradually.
- Pad your feet. Pick up some moleskin from the local pharmacy and cut it into two half moon shaped pieces to place around a callus. It is also a good idea to cushion a corn with donut shaped adhesive pads, which you can also be picked up at the drug store.
- Wear shoes that fit properly. And herein lies the problem. When we are talking about Khardashian style shoes, fitting properly is usually not a top priority. However, it is still a good idea to try and find shoes that at least faintly resemble the size and shape of your foot. If you are interested in attempting to find a somewhat comfy shoe, go shoe shopping at the end of the day, when your feet are likely to be swollen. It is also a good idea to have a clerk measure your foot, if possible and choose shoes that are neither too loose nor too tight.
- Trim toenails. Long toenails can force toes against the shoe, causing a corn to form. You can avoid this by keeping your toenails neatly trimmed.
Says Dr. Elbuluk, ” Most corns go away when the friction or pressure causing them stops. If you aren’t sure what is causing your corn or callus, if the hardened skin is very painful, if you have diabetes, or think you have warts, see a board-certified dermatologist or a podiatrist or orthopedist.”
If you have calluses, we’d love to hear all about your run in-s with celebrities in your podiatrist’s waiting room. Send comments and advice!