Calluses are growths on the outermost part of the skin. They are also known as "helomas" and are quite an annoying condition. The point is that they not only affect aesthetics, but are also uncomfortable and sometimes lead to injury.
In most cases, they appear in areas such as the feet and hands. They also tend to be located between the toes, which is why they are popularly known as "chicken eyes." Either way, they are all characterized by making the skin look thickened and abnormal.
In addition, these thickenings become scaly and dry. Although they do not usually cause major discomfort, hthere are those who experience pain when the affected area suffers some kind of pressure. They may even crack and bleed. Fortunately, there is a medical treatment to improve them.
What are calluses and why do they occur?
Calluses are an excessive growth of the horny layer, which is the outermost layer of the skin. This is due to continuous friction or overload. The consequence of this is a condition called "hyperkeratosis," which means a thick, hard area of skin.
Pressure and friction with an external element are its main cause. Typically, this occurs on the feet due to wearing inappropriate footwear. In the hands, on the other hand, it is usually caused by the continued use of some element that generates pressure.
This thickening of the skin has a protective function. The body reacts to pressure and friction, generating more cells for that hard layer to form. Sometimes calluses also come out due to bunions or other deformations of the feet.
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Types of calluses
There are three basic types of calluses. They are as follows:
Hard corns. They are the most common and are characterized by having a compact consistency. They appear most often on the feet.
Soft or soft corns. They have a rubbery consistency and are more common between the toes.
Vascular and neurovascular corns. They are similar to hard corns, but inside there are blood vessels. In the neurovascular there is nervous tissue and they are usually the most painful.
Most calluses can be detected with the naked eye or by touch. Thickening and hardness are usually its distinguishing feature. However, it is always important for a doctor to assess the situation, as there are sometimes other underlying problems that must be addressed as well.
The doctor, usually a podiatrist, will do a complete scan of the area. If deemed necessary, he will order an X-ray or other imaging tests. The goal is to assess the condition of the bones and determine if there are any underlying abnormalities.
Available medical treatments for calluses
The main treatment for calluses is to avoid rubbing or pressure that has caused the problem. It is important to replace the footwear with a more convenient one or to work with appropriate gloves, if the calluses are on the hands.
Sometimes, it is necessary to use insoles or similar attachments to protect the area and prevent new calluses from emerging. On the other hand, There are some measures that can be applied, especially if the corn is painful. We detail them below.
Trimming excess skin
The doctor may cut out the thickened skin or callus with a scalpel. This is a suitable measure to eliminate calluses. It is important to keep in mind that this procedure must be done by a health professional so that it is carried out correctly and possible infection is avoided.
Medicines for corns
There are 40% salicylic acid patches on the market – over the counter -, which are very effective in removing corns. The best thing is for the doctor to be the one to indicate whether this is the appropriate measure for each case and how the treatment should be done.
Sometimes it is convenient to file the thickened skin with a pumice stone or a nail file or cardboard, before applying the patch. It is also possible that instead of using the patch, a gel with the same substance is recommended.
Orthotics and custom made insoles can be a good alternative for some people. The common thing is that they are indicated for those who have some type of deformation in the foot. They act by avoiding friction or pressure from the footwear.
It is not something common, but in some cases you have to go to surgery. This occurs when there is a malformation in the foot or hand, and this makes friction or pressure unavoidable. If an ulceration or infection develops, the damaged tissue may also need to be removed.
Discover: How to remove corns naturally
Natural supplements against calluses
There are some natural supplements that can help in these cases as well. For example, some recommend placing half an onion on the affected area, overnight. According to popular literature, the acids in this vegetable soften the callus and facilitate its removal by filing it with a pumice stone.
Something similar can be done with two grated garlic cloves and a tablespoon of olive oil. Cover with gauze and leave it overnight. This remedy should be repeated until the calluses disappear.
Another good option is to make an infusion of calendula and mix it with magnesium sulfate, also known as Epsom salts. Then the feet are dipped in this mixture to soften the corns. It is best to do this at night.
Callus treatment: what should you remember?
It is very important to eliminate the cause of calluses; otherwise, they can be treated over and over again, but then they will appear again because the factor that causes them continues to act. Therefore, you must first determine what is causing this problem.
Pharmaceutical remedies for corns must be used correctly. If that is not the case, the problem may get worse. In addition, they can be supplemented with some remedies of natural origin. In any case, if there are doubts, the ideal thing is to consult the doctor and follow his instructions.
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