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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What is the best treatment for corns and calluses?

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  • Anthony Short

    Podiatrist (General)

    Anthony Short BAppSc(Pod) MPod hold both Bachelor and Master level degrees in podiatry, and works in private practice, hospital and educational positions within Brisbane. His … View Profile

    To understand which treatments are best, it is important to understand why these skin lesions develop.

    Corns and calluses are due to an overproduction of keratin in the skin as a response to pressure. They typically will occur over bony prominences and joints of the foot where either pressure from the ground or footwear is contacting the foot. Common deformities such as bunions and hammertoes will often cause this to occur. The skin forms these hard masses as a response to this repetitive process.

    Treatment in the first instance is done by a podiatrist, who will remove the corn of callus by an usually painless procedure using a scalpel. There is typically no bleeding or discomfort. However, the corn or callus will simply redevelop if the foot continues to receive abnormal pressure in these locations. Therefore, your podiatrist will often discuss footwear changes, orthotics, toe appliances or other conservative measures to redistribute pressure away from the location of the lesion.

    If these measure fail, or the problem is too severe, surgical correction of the underlying bony prominence may be indicated. An x-ray will usually reveal this clearly.

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