Corns and Calluses: What They Are and How You Can Prevent Them

Here’s the scene: you’re exercising outside once again. You’ve been walking the same three miles for weeks, but you’re committed to squeezing in a regular fitness time. When you get home, however, you notice that you’re starting to develop hard, thickened areas on your feet, and they don’t feel very pleasant. We’re glad that you’re being proactive in your health, so we hate to say this, but – you’ve probably got a callus or corn on your hands (well, feet).

When it comes to these podiatric issues, many patients interchange the terms “callus” and “corn.” They’re kind of the same thing and start with the same letter, so it must be true, right? Not so fast! While similar, corns and calluses are quite different and may appear for different reasons. Read on to learn about these issues and what you can do to treat them and keep them away!

What are Corns?

Corns are small, defined areas of thickened skin. They typically develop on smooth, bony areas of the foot like the joints and can cause pain when pressed. Corns have a distinct, hard center and are often mistaken for warts at first glance. Additionally, they can be either soft or hard, and they often develop due to bone pressure against the skin, arthritis, or tight, ill-fitting shoes.

What are Calluses?

Calluses, on the other hand, are larger, less-defined patches of thickened skin. They vary in size and form wherever there is repeated friction or pressure on the body such as the soles of your feet. Calluses are rarely painful to the touch since the skin is thicker. Situations that may cause calluses include walking barefoot and wearing high heels.

What Causes Corns and Calluses?

Several risk factors have been linked to a higher occurrence of these issues. Here are some of the most common ones:

  • Wearing ill-fitting socks and too tight, high-heeled shoes
  • Wearing no socks
  • Walking barefoot regularly
  • Engaging in anything that causes friction or pressure on the skin
  • Repetitious actions such as walking or jogging

How Can I Treat Corns and Calluses?

Fortunately, most corns and calluses don’t require medical treatment. There are a few ways you can treat them easily at home! Here are some helpful tips:

  • Soak the corn or callus in warm water for about 10 minutes. Then, gently file it with a pumice stone using circular or sideways motions to slough off dead skin. Remember to avoid taking off too much – you don’t want to cause your skin to bleed or become infected! Dry thoroughly once you’re finished.
  • Use moisturizing cream or lotion on your feet every day. You’ll want products that include salicylic acid, urea, or ammonium lactate; these ingredients will help soften hard calluses and corns.
  • Pad the corn or callus. Adhesive patches and toe sleeves can be found at most pharmacies.
  • Wear proper shoes, avoid repetitive motions, and keep your toenails trimmed to remove pressure from your feet.

When Should I See a Podiatrist?

While most corns and calluses will go away on their own in time, there are times when it’s wise to see your podiatrist. Call if the problem persists, if you aren’t sure what the cause is, if skin is very painful or bleeding, or if you have diabetes. Ignoring these symptoms can create an even larger problem.

How Can I Prevent Corns and Calluses?

Aside from wearing well-fitting shoes and socks, a healthy lifestyle may help prevent these podiatric issues. We recommend maintaining proper hygiene, including washing your feet daily with soap and water, wearing clean socks every day, and keeping your toenails trimmed. A regular checkup with your podiatrist can also help prevent corns and calluses, as well as other podiatric ailments.

If you’re dealing with persistent corns or calluses, take action today! Schedule an appointment with the knowledgeable doctors at The Foot & Ankle Center by calling (314) 487-9300.


Relieve Chronic Heel Pain with Shockwave Therapy

If you suffer from chronic heel pain because of plantar fasciitis, you know how difficult getting around in your daily life can be. What if we told you that there’s a non-surgical procedure that can treat your chronic pain safely and effectively? Learn more about the extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) that we provide here at The Foot & Ankle Center!

What is Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy?

ESWT uses powerful sonic waves to heal plantar fasciitis. Using a device similar to what’s currently used to treat kidney stones, harmless sonic waves are directed at the pain area to promote healing in your foot. Quick, safe, and effective, an ESWT treatment takes about 30 minutes and is performed in the office. This procedure requires no stitches, sutures, bandages, anesthesia, or downtime!

Why Should I Choose ESWT for Chronic Heel Pain?

This treatment is clinically proven to improve your chronic heel pain. In addition, ESWT gives patients more benefits, including:

  • Healing through a safe, non-invasive procedure
  • No risk of infection
  • No scars, stitches, bandages, or sutures
  • Quick healing with little downtime

Am I a Good Candidate for ESWT?

Extracorporeal shockwave therapy is generally recommended for those who have tried conservative methods to heal plantar fasciitis with little to no change. If you’ve been suffering from chronic or reoccurring heel pain, this treatment may be right for you.

While ESWT is safe for countless patients, we do not recommend it for the following people:

  • Pregnant women
  • Those with neurological foot disease
  • Those with vascular foot disease
  • Patients with pacemakers
  • Patients who take medications that interfere with blood clotting

Plantar fasciitis doesn’t have to be forever. Find relief from your chronic heel pain by calling The Foot & Ankle Center at (314) 487-9300 to see how ESWT can change your life!


6 Benefits of Visiting Your Podiatrist

Our feet are pretty incredible, to say the least. Made of a complex system of bones, ligaments, muscles, and tendons, this foundation helps us stand, walk, and run, all while supporting the rest of our body’s weight. Oddly enough, when we experience pain in our feet, toes, and ankles, we often delay seeking proper treatment. Unfortunately, doing so can cause further damage to our body’s foundation. Making an appointment with your podiatrist – even for a minor issue – is incredibly beneficial to your feet’s health. Here’s why:

They Really Know Their Stuff

Your general practitioner is certainly knowledgeable about your overall health. However, a podiatrist is a foot specialist and an expert in the field. They possess a more in-depth understanding on the mechanics of the foot and have undergone a comprehensive certification process to become a podiatrist. You can trust them to help alleviate and eliminate the pain you’ve been feeling in your feet and ankles.

They Treat a Wide Variety of Foot Conditions

Podiatrists are skilled in curing numerous foot and ankle ailments. Make an appointment with your podiatrist if you experience minor or major issues including:

  • Heel pain
  • Bunions
  • Cracked or bleeding heels
  • Nail infection
  • Gout
  • Arthritis
  • Flat feet
  • Ingrown toenails

Remember: even if you’re experiencing a seemingly minor foot complaint, schedule an appointment. Putting off a minor issue can quickly turn into a bigger problem that will require more time and attention to correct.

Podiatrists Know What You Need to Heal

When you come in with a podiatric complaint, you can trust these doctors to determine the proper course of action to help you heal. After a preliminary diagnosis, your podiatrist can order tests such as MRIs or CT scans to pinpoint the problem. They can also administer medication for pain, perform surgery if necessary, or direct you to a physical therapist to help you strengthen your feet and ankles.

They Help Athletes Get Back on Their Feet

Sports injuries can be nothing short of frustrating and debilitating. Make sure to see your podiatrist. They are well-versed in this area and can treat your symptoms so you can get back in the game as soon as possible. They can also give you great insight on the best shoes to wear for your particular sport and how you can avoid injury in the future.

They Can Recommend Healthy Lifestyle Changes

Sometimes, a few little changes can make a really big difference. The same rings true for the health of your feet and ankles. Podiatrists can help those with brittle, thickened, or discolored nails improve nail health with nutritional advice, along with prescribing topical treatment. Athletes and those wanting to improve their health can receive advice on breathable footwear and proper hygienic practices. Elderly patients can also learn how to maintain healthy feet and ankles as swelling and arthritis become more prevalent.

They Can Help Prevent Future Injury

Prevention is key when it comes to your health. Regular visits to the podiatrist – even when you have no injuries or problems – can keep your feet and ankles healthy and strong. Your podiatrist can examine your feet and identify problems before they begin. Those with diabetes will especially benefit from frequent appointments as their podiatrist can help catch diabetic-related issues early.

No matter what condition your feet are in, it’s wise to visit your podiatrist at least once a year. They can help correct any issues that arise and also educate you on podiatric matters. Not sure where to start? Call the knowledgeable doctors at The Foot & Ankle Center at (314) 487-9300 to schedule your appointment today!


4 Everyday Foot Injuries While Camping

Ready to go on an adventure? This spring, it’s time to get out and get active. Camping is just one of many activities a family can participate in to venture outside. According to the National Park Service, “spring brings flowers, new life, and the anticipation of summer.” Along with packing sleeping bags and bug spray, proper footcare needs to be considered. Here’s a list of 4 everyday foot injuries while camping to keep in mind and prevent from occurring.

Blisters

After taking a long walk, blisters may start to form somewhere on your feet. A few main suspects to their formation include friction, pressure, or sweat. These three elements can easily be found in thick socks and hiking boots during a campout. To avoid an infection, blisters should be left alone or wrapped with a bandage. Preventative steps like changing out of wet socks can really make a difference when it comes to avoiding blisters and foot pain.

Sprained Ankles

To sprain your ankle means to hyperextend or tear the ligaments holding the ankle together. These will most likely occur when someone rolls or twists an ankle. While camping, this is a common injury. Wearing the proper shoes is typically the first important step with any foot injury. When it comes to ankles, shoes need to have reinforcement properties in the heel, arch, and toe. Also, watch where you are going – there are plenty of places in the woods that feet can get stuck in.

Plantar Fasciitis

The arch is responsible for a lot of movement in the foot. That’s why plantar fasciitis can also be found in the woods. While walking or hiking, people experiencing a burning sensation in the middle of their feet need to stop and rest. It’s possible that the plantar fascia has been torn to some extent. Pushing through the pain could lead to more damage that will be tougher to fix later. Wearing custom orthotics is one way to support the foot and prevent or ease pain.

Ingrown Toenails

When the toenail grows into the skin instead of on top of it, that is known as an ingrown toenail. Causes from camping or hiking include walking down slopes while putting pressure of the toenails inside of shoes. This pressure can result in broken or bruised toenails that may grow back improperly. Left untreated, the ingrown nail can cause a break in the skin, which may allow bacteria to enter and cause a localized infection. Keeping toenails short by using clippers is essential to avoiding this painful condition.

Are you prepared for your next camping trip when it comes to your feet? After reading this list, we hope so! But if anything should happen to your feet or ankles while in the great outdoors, come talk to one of our knowledgeable doctors at The Foot & Ankle Center. They have years of experience working with people just like you. Call us today at (314) 487-9300 to schedule an appointment.


3 Types of Regenerative Medicine in Podiatry

At The Foot and Ankle Center, technology is at the forefront of our priorities when we do business with our customers. Our doctors want to ensure that patient comfort consistently ranks with the level of treatment you deserve. With that in mind, did you know that we offer regenerative medicine? Regenerative medicine relates to the actions of utilizing cells, tissues, or organs to heal the body. Here are three types of regenerative medicine in podiatry which The Foot and Ankle Center offers.

Shockwave Therapy

Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Technology (EPAT), also known as shockwave therapy, is a non-invasive procedure used to decrease pain. This is handled through pressure waves that energize metabolism, increase circulation, and speed up healing. At The Foot and Ankle Center, we simply apply gel to the affected area and gently provide the stimulation.

With treatment times averaging 5-10 minutes, over 80 percent of EPAT patients become pain free and/or have significantly less pain after three sessions. A few conditions that benefit from this technology include:

  • Foot and Heel Pain
  • Achilles Pain
  • Tendon Pain

Laser Therapy

Multiwave Locked System (MLS) Laser Therapy, is a painless and non-invasive treatment that uses photons of laser energy to penetrate tissue and accelerate cellular healing. The Class IV MLS Laser at The Foot and Ankle Center uses light that has an anti-inflammatory, anti-edema effect on tissues. Our doctors use particular wavelengths of light through this therapy. Cells of tendons, ligaments, and muscles repair themselves faster as a result.

Treatment times average 8 minutes and 90 percent of patients experience improved results after the third treatment. Here are a few conditions that benefit from this technology:

  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Arthritis & Bursitis
  • Achilles Tendonitis
  • Sports Injuries, Sprains & Strains 

Amniotic Membrane and Stem Cell Allografts

Amniotic membrane and stem cell allografts are another option available through regenerative medicine. With that, we work with a human cell allograft known as AmnioFix. This bioactive tissue matrix allograft preserves and contains multiple extracellular matrix proteins, growth factors, cytokines, and other specialty proteins. Conditions that benefit from this include:

  • Scar Tissue
  • Inflammation
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Tendon Injures (i.e. Achilles Tendonitis)

Technological advancements happen every day for the betterment of our patients. Now that you have a better understanding of our treatments, is regenerative medicine right for you? Make an appointment with the friendly doctors at Foot & Ankle Center by calling (314) 487-9300.