Callosities and Corns

Continual pressure and friction on small areas of the skin of the foot caused by ill-fitting shoes or skeletal deformities, stimulate thickening of the skin. A patch of hyperkeratotic skin is called a callosity. If it is pushed into the skin so that it appears to have a deep central core which is painful, it is often called a corn, but there is no real difference between a corn and a callosity. Corns and callosities mostly occur over deformed toes and bunions.

Clinical History

Age
More common in the elderly, not because their skin development pattern changes but because changes of the skeleton cause maldistribution of weight bearing.

Symptoms
Callosities may get rubbed and become sore but are not usually painful. Corns are painful when pressed, because they are narrow and deep and may impinge upon deep structures.

Examination

Site
A callosity is a raised, thickened patch of greyish-brown hyperkeratotic skin over an area of excessive wear and tear. Callosities are present commonly on the hands and feet, and their site varies with the patient’s working conditions and built. 

A corn is a similar but smaller lesion that is pushed into the skin, thus forming a palpable nodule with a central yellowish-white core of dead cornified epidermal cells. Corns are found on the soles of feet, tips of the toes and over dorsal surface of the interphalangeal joints. The main differential diagnosis for corn and callosities is the plantar wart (verruca). These two lesions can be distinguished by peeling away the top layers of skin with a knife to expose either the corn’s core of dead translucent tissue or the verruca’s soft filiform processes.

The main differential diagnosis for corn and callosities is the plantar wart (verruca). These two lesions can be distinguished by peeling away the top layers of skin with a knife to expose either the corn’s core of dead translucent tissue or the verruca’s soft filiform processes.

Causes

  • Wearing ill-fitting shoes – Tight shoes and high heels can compress areas of the feet. When footwear is too loose, foot may repeatedly slide and rub against the shoe or against a seam or stitch inside the shoe.
  • Skipping socks – Wearing shoes and sandals without socks can cause friction on feet. Socks that don’t fit properly can also be a problem.
  • Playing instruments or using hand tools – Calluses on hands may result from the repeated pressure of playing instruments, using hand tools or even writing.

Risk factors

  • Bunions – A condition in which some of the bones in the front part of the foot move out of place. It is an abnormal, bony bump that forms on the joint at the base of big toe
  • Hammer toe. A deformity in which toe curls like a claw.
  • Bone spur – can cause constant rubbing inside the shoe.
  • Unprotected hands – Using hand tools without wearing gloves exposes the skin to excessive friction

5 RED-LINE SYMPTOMS OF CORNS

  • Initially, there is thickening of the skin in a small area usually on the foot or hand
  • There may be itching associated with it
  • The skin gradually becomes dry and horny
  • Though they are painless but usually there is pain on touching or pressing the affected area
  • The corn develops like a funnel with a broad, raised top along with a pointed bottom.

5 RED-LINE SYMPTOMS OF CALLOSITIES

  • Thickening of the skin exposed to repeated friction or pressure.
  • There is usually no pain or itching associated with calluses
  • Most commonly found in areas such as ball of the foot 
  • They protect the affected part from further pressure and friction, such as a callus on the palm of a tennis player or carpenter
  • Pain is felt usually while squeezing or pressing the calluses hardly.

Prevention

  • Wearing shoes that give the toes plenty of room. If one can’t wiggle their toes, that means shoes are too tight. Get the shoe stretched at any point that rubs or pinches.
  • Use protective coverings. Wear felt pads, non-medicated corn pads or bandages over areas that rub against the footwear. One might also try toe-separators or some lamb’s wool between the toes.
  • Wear padded gloves when using hand tools. Or try padding the tool handles with cloth tape or covers

Treatment options:

Usually, these types of conditions in long term are suggested for surgical treatment. Here we, as Homoeopaths, assure and have witnessed harmless removal of the lesion without any surgical intervention. The thing to think here is why to go for incisions and complicated way of treatment where we can get rid of the disease in the simplest way. When the most similar, peculiar and constitutional homoeopathic medicine is prescribed with dosage as suggested by the physician, we are sure to get complete relief. Along with management mentioned above, the best selected homoeopathic remedy proves to be a good choice of treatment.

Common Homoeopathic medicines used-

  • Antimonium crudum : For large horny, inflamed corns on soles with stitching pains.
  • Arnica montana : For very sensitive and very painful corns resulting from mechanical injuries in the past.
  • Camphora : For corns with parchment-like skin that is cold to touch and cannot bear slightest to be touched.
  • Silicea : For inflamed corns with burning pain, in persons who are mentally and physically oversensitive.
  • Sulphur : For corns in persons with unhealthy, filthy skin; aversion to being washed, worse after bath.



Dr Garima Jindal

BHMS(NHMC, DELHI) MD(HOM) Sch.