Corns and calluses are common foot problems that can cause discomfort and pain if left untreated. While you may be tempted to address corns or calluses at home by trimming or shaving them using various tools, the risks of this approach can be dangerous. Consulting with an experienced Austin podiatrist can help treat these issues so you avoid serious complications.
Don’t Trim Your Corns and Calluses at Home
Corns and calluses are both thick layers of skin that can form on your toes and feet. Trimming corns and calluses at home may seem like a convenient solution to get rid of the thickened skin, but it can lead to several potential dangers, including the following:
Infection is one of the most significant risks of DIY corn and callus removal. If the tools you use or your hands are not properly sanitized, you can introduce harmful bacteria into the affected area. An infected corn or callus can become red, swollen, and painful, requiring medical attention.
Overzealous trimming can result in excessive removal of skin, leading to bleeding, open sores, or even deep wounds. This not only increases the risk of infection but also prolongs the healing process.
Pain and Discomfort
Attempting to remove corns and calluses without professional guidance may cause pain and discomfort. If you accidentally cut too deep or unevenly, you can create a more significant problem than the one you started with.
Trimming corns and calluses near the toenails can increase the likelihood of ingrown toenails. Ingrown toenails can be very painful and may require professional treatment to resolve.
When to See a Podiatrist
Corns and calluses may seem like minor problems that you can take care of yourself. However, it’s essential to know when to seek professional help from a skilled Austin podiatrist for your corns and calluses to prevent serious complications. Here are some signs that should prompt you to consult a podiatrist:
If You Have Diabetes
People with diabetes should never attempt to self-treat corns and calluses. Diabetes can lead to poor circulation and neuropathy, making even minor foot issues potentially dangerous. A podiatrist can provide safe and effective treatment options for corns and calluses.
If Your Corn or Callus Is Painful
Persistent pain or discomfort from a corn or callus should not be ignored. A podiatrist can determine the underlying cause and develop a tailored treatment plan.
If You Notice Signs of Infection
Redness, swelling, pus, or warmth around the corn or callus may indicate an infection. Seek medical attention promptly to prevent the infection from spreading to surrounding tissue or bone.
If You Have Circulatory Issues
Individuals with circulatory problems, such as peripheral artery disease, should avoid home treatments due to an increased risk of complications.
If You Are Unsure About Proper Care
If you are uncertain about how to safely address your corns and calluses, it is best to consult an experienced podiatrist who can provide guidance and professional care. A podiatrist may recommend wearing custom orthotics inside your shoes to prevent corns or calluses from forming. In addition, they can professionally remove corns or calluses in their office.
For some patients, surgery may be an option for corns or calluses. When conservative treatments have failed to provide relief or when there are underlying bone deformities, like bunions or hammer toes, surgery can correct these issues to help prevent recurrence.
Foot Care Tips to Prevent Corns and Calluses
To help prevent corns and calluses and maintain healthy feet, consider the following foot care tips:
- Choose the right footwear
- Avoid tight-fitting or high-heeled shoes
- Wear cushioned socks to protect your feet
- Use padding to alleviate pressure on prominent areas
- Keep your feet clean and dry
- Moisturize your feet to prevent dry skin
- Use a pumice stone to gently file thickened areas of skin, but avoid trimming corns and calluses at home
- Perform regular foot inspections to check your feet regularly for any signs of corns, calluses, or other issues