Bunions, Calluses, & Corns


Everyday events expose the feet and toes to excessive pressure and friction at work and at play. Unfortunately, the impact of repeated rubbing motions can lead to irritating, unsightly and painful foot conditions. Reducing the recurring pressure on key areas of the feet and toes is an essential first step to alleviating the discomfort foot problems to include:

  • Corns – The main difference between a corn and a callus is where the buildup of hard skin forms on the foot. Corns develop on the tops or sides of the toes because the bones push up against the shoe and put pressure on the skin. Soft corns may resemble open sores and develop between the toes as they rub against each other.
  • Calluses – A callus is an area of hard, thickened skin that can occur across the ball of the foot, on the heel or on the outer side of the big toe as protection against friction or pressure. A plantar callus can form when one metatarsal bone is longer or lower than the others. If deformities like calluses are left untreated, more serious problems such as blisters, skin ulcerations and infection can occur.
  • Bunions – According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, women are nine times more likely to have bunions than are men due to ill-fitting shoes that are too narrow, too tight and have high heels. Unlike corns and calluses, bunions involve the malformation of a bone, most often the big toe joint. With bunions, treatment is necessary to prevent progressive damage.
  • Hammertoes – A major culprit of toe deformity in adults is tendon imbalance. When the natural function of the foot is disrupted, the tendons may stretch or tighten to compensate. A family history of hammertoes can also increase the risk of developing them, as does excessive long toes, flat feet, high arches, foot injury or arthritis.

Foot and toe deformities can have painful nerves or bursa sacs (fluid-filled pockets that act as shock absorbers) beneath them that cause: no symptoms – to sharp shooting pain – to dull aching soreness. To prevent further complications, a conservative approach of gently removing excess skin, padding affected areas, wearing comfortable shoes or using orthotic inserts is highly recommended.

NOTE: People who have diabetes must take special care that corns, calluses, bunions or hammertoes don’t produce sores that won’t heal properly. Routine visits to the podiatrist and a diabetic foot care program are highly recommended.

If you have foot or toe deformities, you can request an appointment online or call Coastal Podiatry & Wound Care at (904) 265-0470 to learn more about the proper care and treatment for any condition.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on this website is an educational resource. It is not intended to serve as a recommendation for the treatment or management of any medical condition. All decisions involving medical procedures or surgery should be made in conjunction with your physician or orthopedic surgeon.

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