What Happens to Untreated Foot Corns and Calluses?

Corns and calluses are similar and may be unsightly, causing discomfort and embarrassment for an individual. In contrast to calluses, which commonly develop on the soles of the feet, corns tend to develop on other areas of the feet when they are under constant friction and pressure. These hardened parts of the feet can cause issues, especially in diabetic patients, when corns may cause infections and other complications. Soft untreated corns, which stay soft because of the moisture in your feet, present particular problems because they may easily become infected.

Calluses form most often on the bottom of the feet, specifically on the heels or outside toes. As the skin of the feet constantly rubs on shoes or even the floor, calluses may develop. The hardened skin, if left untreated, can continue to harden and spread, eventually splitting the skin open, where infection can enter. Calluses do not have a defined shape (like corns) and are generally wider and longer than corns.

Should I Be Concerned About Corns or Calluses?

In addition to the discomfort of corns, the pain involved may cause you to subconsciously adjust the way you walk, potentially causing bones to go out of alignment. If you find your gait varying or realize that you are limping, it is past the time you should see a foot doctor. Corns do not go away on their own and should be treated as soon as possible to improve conditions.

What Happens If Corns and Calluses Are Left Untreated?

If corns and calluses are left untreated, they will continue to spread into the skin around them, further hardening the skin. As corns and calluses deepen and grow, they will eventually crack the skin, opening up your feet for infections to pop up and spread. 

Diabetic patients should especially be careful with corns and calluses, as injuries to their feet may go unnoticed and can become very serious quite quickly. Therefore, diabetic patients should see a podiatrist as soon as possible if they notice anything amiss in their general foot health.

How are Corns and Calluses Treated?

Your podiatrist will inspect your feet for corns and calluses, gauging their seriousness before suggesting a treatment plan. You may find the following three at-home treatments helpful in removing corns or calluses.

  • Soak your feet to soften the skin, and then use a pumice stone to remove the hardened skin from the feet. A podiatrist will have a more advanced tool that may be used to remove hardened skin.
  • Chemical treatments (like salicylic acid) can soften the keratin in the hardened skin of corns and calluses to remove them.
  • Shoe inserts and foot splints can help relieve the pain from corns and calluses, allowing you to walk normally.

If the above at-home treatments are unsuccessful, you should see a foot doctor as soon as possible. Best Foot Doctor has offices in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens waiting to serve you in the NYC area. Please make an appointment with us today, and we will help you understand

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