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calluses

Calluses

Many of us with lymphedema report constant problems with calluses, and corns. These growths, which is a thickening of the skin is a response to constant pressure. Or friction.

Possible complications, especially with lymhpedema or ddiabetes would be an ulceration or infection developing at the sight of the callus. Also, they can be incredibly painful. At that point we need to treat or remove them.

However, people with conditions like leg lymphedema or diabetes will need to treat calluses with special care. The very worse thing you can do is to try and trim them with a knife or razor blade. This is very dangerous and one cut could expose you to a serious bout of cellulitis, erysipelas or worse lymphangitis.

Self Care at home

There are several things you can do at home to treat a callus.

Put a protective cover or bandage over the callus to decrease friction and prevent the callus from growing.

Use moisturizing lotions to dry calluses.

After a bath or shower, when the callus is soft, you can rub pumice stone over the thickened regions. This can help remove a callus.

Use glove on your hands

Use inserts to provide more cushion and better fit on your shoes

Medical Treatments

If the callus has become inflamed or infected, you may need to be on a course of antibiotics. Remember with lymphedema any infection can spread rapidly.

Surgerical removal of the callus

Shaving or cutting off the especially hardened areas. (Again by the doctor – you should never attempt this)

How to Prevent Calluses

Hands

  • Wear gloves when you’re doing manual labor, like raking, shoveling or using a handsaw.
  • Soak your hands in a hot water bath, maybe with a couple of drops of essential oil, like lavender or eucalyptus. Do this two or three times a week.
  • Rub your hands with a washcloth, pumice stone or exfoliating sponge to remove excess skin, paying special attention to the palms of your hands. For best results, do this after a hot water bath soak.
  • Condition your hands with a rich moisturizing lotion throughout the day. Once a week, saturate your hands in olive oil, put on a pair of light cloth gloves and go to bed. You’ll be amazed at how soft and smooth your skin is after six to eight hours of saturation.

Feet

  • Buy shoes that fit. They may be the cutest pair of high heels you’ve ever seen, but if they don’t feel good on your feet, chances are they’re going to give you the ugliest calluses you’ve ever seen, too. It’s especially important to choose shoes that have soft soles and extra width and depth for your feet. Avoid any shoe that you have to squeeze your foot into. The lower the heels the better.
  • Use padded shoe inserts for extra support. Just be sure they don’t make your shoes too small in the process.
  • Wear shoes outside. Walking on dirt, rocks or hot pavement is naturally going to toughen your feet and only contribute to the possible formation of calluses.
  • Soak your feet in a hot water bath, maybe with a couple of drops of essential oil, like lavender or eucalyptus. Do this two or three times a week.
  • Rub your feet with a washcloth, pumice stone or exfoliating sponge to remove excess skin, paying special attention to the bottom of your big toes, heels and balls of the feet. For best results, do this after a hot water bath soak.
  • Condition your feet with a rich moisturizing lotion throughout the day. Once a week, saturate your hands in olive oil, put on a pair of light cloth socks and go to bed. You’ll be amazed at how soft and smooth your skin is after six to eight hours of saturation.(1)

What are Calluses?

Definition

The formation of calluses is caused by an accumulation of dead skin cells that harden and thicken over an area of the foot. This callus formation isthe body's defense mechanism to protect the foot against excessive pressure and friction. Calluses are normally found on the ball-of-the-foot, the heel, and/or the inside of the big toe.

Some calluses have a deep seated core known as a nucleation. This particular type of callus can be especially painful to pressure. This condition is often referred to as Intractable Plantar Keratosis.

Cause

Calluses develop becuase of excessive pressure at a specific area of the foot. Some common causes of callus formation are high-heeled dress shoes, shoes that are too small, obesity, abnormalities in the gait cycle (walking motion), flat feet, high arched feet, bony prominences, and the loss of the fat pad on the bottom of the foot.

Treatment and Prevention

Many people try to alleviate the pain caused by calluses by cutting or trimming them with a razor blade or knife. This is not the way to properly treat calluses. This is very dangerous and can worsen the condition resulting in unnecessary injuries. Diabetics especially should never try this type of treatment.

To relieve the excessive pressure that leads to callus formation, weight should be redistributed equally with the use of an orthotic. An effective orthotic transfers pressure away from the “hot spots” or high pressured areas to allow the callus to heal. The orthotic should be made with materials that absorb shock and shear (friction) forces.

Women should also steer away from wearing high-heeled shoes.

As always, surgery should be the very last resort. If the problem persists, consult your foot doctor.

Foot.com

What’s a Callus?

A callus is an area of thick skin. Calluses form at points where there is a lot of repeated rubbing for a long period of time — such as the hours spent raking leaves. The skin hardens from the pressure over time and eventually thickens, forming a hard tough grayish or yellowish surface that may feel bumpy.

Calluses can be a form of protection for the hands. Gymnasts who perform on uneven parallel bars and other apparatus often get calluses on their hands, which take a lot of abuse. Guitar players also get calluses — on their fingers — from manipulating the strings. Once formed, calluses may make it easier for the person to swing around the bars or play the guitar.

Calluses on the feet, however, can be painful because you have to step on them all the time. They usually form on the ball of the foot. (The ball is the roundish part on the bottom of your foot, just behind your big toe.) Some calluses also form on the outside of the big or little toe or the heel. Tight shoes and high heels often cause calluses because they put a lot of pressure on your feet at points that aren't used to all of that stress

Courtesy of KidsHealth

New alternative in treatment of callus.

J Dermatol. 2011 Feb

Akdemir O, Bilkay U, Tiftikcioglu YO, Ozek C, Yan H, Zhang F, Akin Y. Source Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Ege University Medical School, Izmir, Turkey. Abstract The pathological transformation of the skin into a thick and hard callus due to repetitive trauma or friction is commonly known as corn. Although a variety of medical and operative treatment choices have been proposed, an ideal treatment method is yet to be defined. Effectiveness of tangential excision together with topical cantharidin has been evaluated. We used Canthacur-PS as an adjunct to excision in an outpatient setting. Canthacur-PS is a commercially available topical solution that includes 1% cantharidin, 30% salicylic acid and 5% podophyllin. The treatment has been applied to 72 patients. We found that 65 patients (90.3%) had corn on their feet and seven patients (9.7%) on their hands. Thick, hard and hyperkeratotic skin area was scraped with the help of a no. 15 blade. The solution was applied on and around the periphery (up to 1–2 mm) of the lesion with a cotton swab, and kept closed for 5 days with an antibiotic dressing. All the patients had been followed up for at least 1 year and evaluated by clinical examination and patient satisfaction query. One session of treatment succeeded in 57 (79.2%) corn patients. Two sessions in nine corn patients (12.5%), three sessions in five corn patients (6.9%) and four sessions in one patient (1.4%) were needed. Only one recurrence (1.4%) was seen. No scar formation or other side-effects were seen. Our findings show that this treatment method is a simple, minimally invasive and reliable treatment for calluses.

Japanese Dermatological Association.

WileyOnline Library

Non traumatic lesions of the foot, calluses and nails: socioeconomic impact of an unexplored issue].

Nov 2011

[Article in French]

Höglund HC, Jeannot E, Delmi M, Chastonay P.

Source

Podologue, MPH, Podologie de Vermont, 1202 Genève. helena.chanson@gmail.com

Abstract

Up to 20% of the general population, especially women and old people, suffer from non traumatic lesions of the foot. These lesions have repercussions on a person's health and wellbeing. Nevertheless, the clinical examination of the foot rarely forms part of routine medical consultations. Using questionnaires and individual interviews, this pilot study investigated the foot problems of 96 patients attending a podiatrist's practice, as well as the level of communication between the patients and their doctor. 85% of the participants said they never talked about calluses and nails with their doctor. The results were confirmed by fifteen individual interviews. Clinicians have an important role to play in the early detection of these lesions, allowing an efficient management of this issue.

PubMed

External Links

Calluses

Calluses

Corns and Calluses

Corns and Calluses

Pamper Your Feet to Prevent Corns, Callluses

Calluses

eHowTo (1)

Lymphedema People Links

Lymphedema People Resources

calluses.txt · Last modified: 2012/10/16 14:40 (external edit)