Hockey season is back—and who knows foot conditions better than an athlete? Corns and calluses plague certain people more than others, athletes included. They can cause foot pain and discomfort for those who live with them on a daily basis. Fortunately, they can usually be easily treated at home without any outside help needed.

We’ve probably all had a callus at one point or another. They consist of many layers of dead and hardened skin that form as a protective barrier for your inner layers of skin. Some common places to see a callus are areas that are exposed to a lot of friction, including your heel and the ball of your foot. To treat a callus you simply soften your skin in water and then use a pumice stone to gently slough away the hard patch. This may take a while to complete, but it can be done. If you have diabetes you may not wish to do this yourself. It may be a good idea to seek medical help so that you don’t injure yourself without knowing it and develop a slow-healing wound.

Corns are similar to calluses in that they are layers of dead skin. However, they are found between and on the tops of your toes and have a more of a waxy appearance. These may cause pain because their center (called a core) may press on a nerve in the foot. To treat this pain you may need to wear cushioned, non-medicated pads. You can try the pumice stone technique with a corn as well. Don’t ever try to cut off a corn by yourself. If padding doesn’t work you can have your doctor remove the corn for you. To prevent a corn or callus from returning, make sure you wear proper footwear and keep your feet dry so that friction can’t occur.

For more information on these two skin problems, call Mark Gasparini, D.P.M., at (516) 804-9038 to schedule an appointment in our Massapequa, NY, office.

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