Callouses are hard, thickened skin which are typically found on the bottom or sides of the foot. Usually these are caused by a combination of pressure points/friction (ex. prominent bony growth or bunions) and poor fitting shoes. They can also be attributed to the way one walks. Callouses are actually a defense mechanism your body employs to protect the deeper, more fragile skin underneath. Symptoms include discomfort with standing and walking. You may also find that the pain varies depending on the type of shoe you wear or the hardness of the surface you are on.
In some more extreme cases, the callous may be very thick and result with some cracking skin and fissures. This typically causes a painful sensation and may lead to infection if untreated. These usually occur around the heel, but may present anywhere from ball of the foot to the toes. We recommend that you come in to get these trimmed, and also feel free to try a strong moisturizer like our product Kera-42 with urea cream.
Corns are very much the same as callouses, except they are thickened bits of tissue located on the toes. Corns are usually caused by some form of pressure, which may be from poor fitting shoes or bony prominences/spurs on the toes. Symptoms include pain or discomfort while walking, and may worsen in shoes.
Plugged Sweat Duct/Pebble-like Spots:
These plugged sweat duct lesions are typically smaller in size, feel very hard, and may protrude out in a more convex shape. There are multiple sweat ducts on the bottom and side of your feet, and occasionally they may get plugged or clogged up. Due to pressure or friction, your body tries to protect the underlying skin by forming a very dense and thick tissue within the sweat duct. The resulting symptom is the sensation that you are walking on a pebble or a stone that you can never seem to get rid of.
Treatment is almost always conservative initially. It involves trimming the callous or corn, and digging the thick tissue out of the clogged sweat duct. Callouses/corns will be further assessed from a biomechanical standpoint and orthotics with offloading or padding may be recommended. Callouses or corns with underlying bony prominences will be padded and offloaded, but occasionally surgery may be needed. Plugged sweat ducts have some options of mild chemical treatments along with possible offloading.
For more information, please feel free to get in touch with us.