Symptoms and Treatment of Corns, Calluses, Bunions and Hammertoes - NYC Podiatrist

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Treat Corns, Calluses and Bunions

The shoes you wear can play a major role in the health and condition of your feet. When poor-fitting shoes and the pressures of keeping up a busy NYC lifestyle expose your feet and toes to excessive pressure and friction, the repeated rubbing motion can lead to irritating, unsightly and painful foot conditions, including bunions, hammertoes, calluses and corns.  

Reducing the recurring pressure is key to alleviating the discomfort and appearance of a corn, callus and bunion. Generally, a modification in footwear and simple home remedies are effective treatments.

Calluses and Corns

Corns and calluses are thick, hardened layers of dead skin that develop as a result of your skin’s natural protection against friction and pressure. The main difference between the two is where they form; calluses develop on the balls or heels of feet and corns form on the tops or sides of the toes. Also, calluses are typically a larger and more diffuse build-up of hard skin and may or may not hurt depending on its thickness. A corn, on the other hand, appears as a thick lump that can become larger in size, and often very painful.

To remove a corn or callus, soak your affected foot in warm water to soften the hardened tissue. Then, gently rub the corn or callus with a pumice stone to remove the dead skin cells. Never attempt trimming the corn or callus with sharp tools as this could cause injury or infection. In addition, avoid wearing shoes that are too tight; instead purchase well-padded shoes with a deep toe box.  If your corn or callus persists, see your podiatrist in New York City or your local foot doctor for quick and safe removal.


Unlike corns and calluses that involve the excess build up of skin, bunions involve the malformation of a bone, most often the big toe joint.  With time, the big toe may eventually shift and angle toward the other toes, causing the bony prominence to grow larger. The constant friction and rubbing of the enlarged bone can become very painful, red and tender, making it difficult to enjoy your favorite activities, or even walk. Corns and calluses often develop on the skin as a result of the repeated friction.

Bunions involve a bone, which means treatment is necessary to prevent progressive damage. Many times conservative treatments, such as padding, modified footwear, orthotic devices or splints can be highly effective for preventing further growth and reducing the pressure and pain. When these treatments aren’t affective, however, surgery may be necessary in order to remove the bony bulge and realign the toe. Your podiatrist can advise you on the best treatment options available to relieve pressure on the bunion and slow the progression of the joint deformity.

Corns, calluses and bunions can form for various reasons, but the most common cause of all three foot problems is genetics- that’s right, these conditions tend to run in the family, but they can be aggravated by tight shoes and often a comfortable shoe will alleviate some of the pressure. It can be normal to develop a corn, callus or bunion, but when your pain doesn’t subside, see your podiatrist in Manhattan for appropriate treatment, as he or she can advise you about the best ways to prevent these common foot conditions. 

About the Author:

Dr. Ernest L. Isaacson is a leading podiatrist in New York City. Focusing on quality care, convenience and a comfortable patient experience, this Manhattan podiatrist offers a wide variety of foot care and treatment, including heel pain treatment, bunion care and foot surgery. 






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