July 30, 2015
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Corns (cont.)

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What causes corns and calluses to develop?

Hyperkeratosis simply means thickening of the skin. This thickening occurs as a natural defense mechanism that strengthens the skin in areas of friction or excessive pressure. Abnormal anatomy of the feet, such as hammertoe or other toe deformities, can lead to corn or callus formation as can bony prominences in the feet. Footwear that is too short or too tight or that exerts friction at specific points can also cause skin thickening that leads to corns and calluses. Abnormalities in gait or movement that result in increased pressure to specific areas can also be the cause.

It can be hard to know why finger corns develop since they often don't appear at sites of obvious pressure. Finger calluses may develop in response to using tools, playing musical instruments such as the guitar, or using work equipment that exerts pressure at specific sites.

What are risk factors for corns and calluses?

As mentioned above, any condition or activity that results in increased friction over the fingers or toes can lead to the development of corns or calluses. People of all ages can be affected but they are particularly common in people over 65 years of age. Corns and calluses have been shown to affect 20%-65% of people in this age range. Some of these risk factors are

  • abnormalities in anatomy of the feet or toes;
  • abnormalities in gait;
  • bunions;
  • poorly fitting footwear;
  • using equipment, tools, or instruments that exert pressure on specific locations on the fingers;
  • certain occupations, such as farmers or garden workers.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/18/2015

Source: MedicineNet.com
http://www.medicinenet.com/corns/article.htm

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