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Corns and Calluses

Corns and Calluses

Are you experiencing pain when walking? Does it feel like you have a rock in your shoe when you walk? You may have a corn or callus.

Corns and Calluses

What is a Corn and a Callus?

Two common foot conditions that are difficult to tell apart from other foot skin conditions such as warts.

“Corns” are also known as “heloma” in medical terms, describes thick areas of skin that develops as a result of excessive amount of pressure and friction being applied to the skin. Corns, rather than being a defect, are our body’s protective mechanism from further damage.

There are different types of corns that develop; hard corns known as heloma durum and soft corns known as heloma molle.

Foot corns are hardened layers of skin and circular, they also have a translucent centre with a dense knot of skin known as a core. They can become painful in-between the toes where skin is relatively thin and sensitive, or ulcerated due to your skins’ response to friction, pressure or rubbing, and on occasions an infection may develop. Corns most often develop on the top of the toes, between the toes or on the soles of the feet.

Rarely painful, calluses usually develop on the soles of your feet, in particular under the heel. Varying in size and shape. Calluses are often larger than corns.

Causes

Enlarged joint:

Wearing ill-fitting shoes: Tight shoes & high heels can compress areas of your feet. When footwear is too loose, your foot may repeatedly slide and rub against the shoe. Your foot may also rub against a seam or stitch inside the shoe.

Skipping socks: Wearing shoes and sandals without socks can cause friction on your feet. Socks that don’t fit properly can also be a problem.

Adductovarus deformity: a crooked toe that moves under the adjacent toe.

Symptoms may include:

  • rough, tough, yellowing patch of lumpy or bumpy skin
  • skin that’s sensitive to touch
  • pain when wearing shoes

Treatment

Conservative

Soaking your feet in warm soapy water to soften the corn or callus. This can make it easier to remove the thickened skin.

Moisturize your feet to help keep the skin soft.

Wear comfortable shoes and socks. Stick to well-fitting, cushioned shoes and socks until your corn or callus disappears.

Regular podiatry visits. Your local podiatrist can help you with regular debridement to alleviate pain.

Refrain from picking calluses! Do not try to shave or cut a corn or callus on your own, especially if you suffer from diabetes or poor circulation.

Conservative treatments aim to reduce excessive pressure.

 

Surgical

Surgery is advised if non-surgical treatment fails.

Corns forming between toes are easily treated by a keyhole surgery and it is usually done under local anaesthesia.

If you find yourself having to visit a podiatrist over and over to cut out the corns only to have them return then it is recommended to book a consultation with Dr. Kim who can perform a minimally invasive surgery to prevent recurrence.

Typically, surgical removal of the callus is not required as the hard skin can most often be removed without surgery. In rare cases, foot surgery may be necessary to correct an underlying cause of the callus (e.g. surgical removal of a bunion.)

Surgery aims to remove the enlarged joint (arthroplasty). Surgery for a painful interdigital corn is relatively quick and easy surgery. It usually involves:

  • Small incision (around 2 cm) over the toe.
  • Removal of condyle (head part of phalanx).
  • Repair of tendon, capsule and skin closure.
  • If there is a tight tendon or contracted skin, tenotomy or lengthening of tendon or skin plasty are performed to address these problems.

Before & After Photos

Appointment Information

Cost & Item Codes – Our fees are quoted on a case-by-case basis after your initial consultation with the surgeon as each patient presents differently and each surgery varies from patient to patient. Please book an initial consultation to discuss this further.

Scans – We recommend you have weight bearing x-rays prior to your appointment.

Telehealth – We may be able to offer an initial telehealth appointment if you live a distance away. Phone one of our friendly staff to see if this is possible for you. We may ask you to email some photos of your corns prior to your appointment.

Surgery Information

Do I need surgery? – Although your surgeon has recommended an operation for your corn, it is your decision if you go ahead with the operation or not.

Corns tend to progress, usually slowly with the enlarged joint becoming more prominent and uncomfortable.

Duration – The operation usually takes 20 minutes.

Anaesthesia – Corn surgery can be performed under general anaesthesia, spinal block, or local anaesthesia with sedation, depending on the surgeon’s and the patient’s preferences.

Medications – Your surgeon will discuss all medications with you on your initial consultation.

Smoking – If you are a smoker, you need to stop the habit of smoking 4 weeks before your operation for normal healing and reduce postoperative complications. Nicotine is known to stop bones from healing.

Recovery Process

Patients must follow their surgeon’s instructions carefully during recovery to ensure proper healing and minimize the risk of complications.

The recovery process following corn surgery varies depending on a clinic-based procedure or a hospital-based surgery. In general, the following timeline can be expected:

 

For any clinic-based procedures.

Immediately after surgery: Go home and rest. Elevate your foot as often and as much as possible to reduce swelling for 1-2 days. Minimal weight bearing, getting up for essential things only like toilet breaks 5-10 maximum per hour.

1-2 weeks: Patients can increase movement as directed. In the first 2 weeks, keep the foot dry until stitches are removed. You may shower with a waterproof cover over your foot.

Driving – Your surgeon will advise when you can start driving, usually 2-3 days after the procedure.

Return to Work sedentary – If you work at a desk with minimal time on your feet, you aren’t walking a great deal to and from the car, and you are able to elevate your foot/feet, you may be able to return to work after 1 day.

Return to Work active – If you have a physical job or are standing or walking a lot and unable to elevate your foot/feet, you may not be able to return to work until 2-4 weeks.

Low impact exercise2-4 weeks as instructed.

High impact exercise6 weeks as instructed.

 

For any hospital-based procedures under general anaesthesia.

The following should be adhered to in order to hasten your recovery from foot surgery. In general, the following timeline can be expected:

Immediately after surgery: Go home and rest. Elevate your foot as often and as much as possible to reduce swelling. Minimal weight bearing, getting up for essential things only like toilet breaks 5-10 maximum per hour.

The first few days:  Patients will need to spend most of the time with the operated foot raised to reduce swelling as much as possible. Elevation is absolutely critical to your recovery.

1-2 weeks: Patients can increase movement as directed but still limited, and patients are expected to rest and elevate as much as possible even when they are advised they are able to walk.  In the first 2 weeks, keep the foot dry. You may shower with a waterproof cover over your foot.

2-4 weeks: Patients should be able to transfer into soft comfortable shoes when directed. Movement as directed but still limited, and patients are expected to rest and elevate as much as possible even when they are advised they are able to walk.

4-6 weeks: Excellent pain reduction is expected once scar is healed which usually takes 6 weeks. Return to normal activities as directed.

The swelling often takes up to six months to go down completely. You should always wear comfortable shoes that have enough space for your toes. Wearing shoes with high heels or pointed toes may cause more toe problems in the future.

Driving – Your surgeon will advise when you can start driving, usually 4-6 weeks after the procedure.

Return to Work sedentary – If you work at a desk with minimal time on your feet, you aren’t walking a great deal to and from the car, and you are able to elevate your foot/feet, you may be able to return to work after 2-3 weeks.

Return to Work active – If you have a physical job or are standing or walking a lot and unable to elevate your foot/feet, you may not be able to return to work until 6 weeks.

Low impact exercise4-6 weeks as instructed.

High impact exercise6 weeks as instructed.

Some possible complications following surgery include infection, bleeding, pain, scarring, or nerve damage. Patients should contact their surgeon if they have any concerns.

Surgery

Surgery is advised if non-surgical treatment fails.

Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

Podiatric Surgeon Dr Kim is the leading surgeon for Foot Surgery in Brisbane and Gold Coast, book a consultation today to discuss which options are best for you.

No referral needed

Contact Us

A GP referral is welcome however it is not essential for your appointment

About

Dr Ji Soo Kim (Specialist Podiatric Surgeon) BPodM, DClinPod, FFPM RCPS(Glasg)

Book Appointment

Dr Kim has two offices, one located in Kelvin Grove, Brisbane. The other is in Southport, Gold Coast.

Please call 1300 522 096

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