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05-02-2008, 03:35 PM
Think twice before buying those attractive, but just-a-little-too-tight shoes. A shoe that is uncomfortable in the store is not likely to be comfortable later. And, poorly fitting shoes commonly cause unsightly corns and calluses, according to the April issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter.

Corns and calluses result from pressure or friction on the skin, causing the skin to protect itself by thickening and hardening. Corns are usually about one-fourth inch to one-half inch in diameter and have a hard center. They typically develop on the top and sides of the toes. They can be painful when pressure is applied to them, and may cause a dull ache. Calluses, which aren't painful, often appear as a thick, rough layer of skin and can be an inch or more in diameter.

For most people, corns and calluses only need medical treatment if they cause discomfort. Mayo Clinic Health Letter offers these tips for home care to prevent or treat corns and calluses:

Wear comfortable shoes -- Corns and calluses can be prevented or will often go away when you eliminate the rubbing and friction that cause them.

Wear non-medicated corn or callus pads -- These pads cushion and protect skin from friction, allowing time for corns or calluses to shrink.

Gradually rubbing it away -- After bathing, gently rub off a layer of thickened skin with a washcloth or pumice stone. Toughened skin shouldn't be removed all at once. Rubbing away a corn or callus may take a week or longer. Don't shave or cut a corn or callus because of the risk of infection.

For people who have diabetes, extra care and caution are warranted with corns and calluses. Even minor skin injuries can lead to sores that heal slowly and can result in infection.

Mayo Clinic
200 First St. SW
Rochester, MN 55902
United States
http://www.mayoclinic.com (http://www.mayoclinic.com/)