ADDRESS

#03-07 Gleneagles Medical Centre
6 Napier Road, Singapore 258499

PHONE

+65 96584362

Understanding Corns, Calluses & Warts

Corns & Calluses

Corns & calluses are common skin conditions marked by thickening of skin surfaces. They usually occur on weight-bearing areas or areas with excessive friction or rubbing, for example the hands, fingers, toes and soles of the feet.

Presentation

Corns and calluses appear as raised bumps on the skin which are smooth with a dull yellowish colour. Corns affect small areas (<1cm) and usually with a central core deep in the skin, while calluses refer to brad areas of thickening.

Management Options

Treatment is usually not required for corns or calluses unless there is pain involved.

Over-the-counter medications such as salicylic acid can be used. Salicylic acid softens the skin, thus allowing easier shedding and removal of excess skin.

Very minor surgery is needed if the corns persists. The surgery is done under local anaesthesia and it is safe and painless. The surgery involves in removing the affected area.

Prevention

Most corns & calluses result from uneven distribution of pressure of the body. Below are some of the ways to minimise the development of corns or calluses:

  • Get proper fitting shoes with sufficient padding.
  • Lose weight to reduce pressure on the feet.
  • Minimise the use of high heeled shoes.

When to Consult a Doctor

Self treatment is not advisable if:

  • You are having diabetes or mellitus or any other bloos circulation problems.
  • There are signs of infection on the corns or calluses.

Warts

Warts are actually symptoms of human papilloma virus (HPV) infection on the skin. They can occur at any parts of the body where the skin’s defensive barrier has been broken, but commonly on the hands. Warts are generally not painful, unless on weight-bearing areas such as the soles. Unlike corns & calluses, warts can spread to others and other body parts by physical contact.

Presentation

plantar-wart

Warts normally have rough surfaces which are bumpy and raised. They also are supplied by numerous blood vessels which gives them a cauliflower-like appearance. Warts that develop on the soles, commonly known as plantar warts, mostly appear flat due to the walking pressure that is placed on it.

Management Options

Similar to corns and calluses, warts can be removed with salicylic acid preparations.

For more resistant or widespread warts or warts that are large in size, your doctor may recommend small surgery to remove the wart.

Prevention

As warts are contagious, personal hygiene is of utmost importance so as to reduce its spread to other parts of the body or to other people.

  • Wash your hands immediately after touching the warts.
  • Avoid picking or scratching the warts.
  • Avoid going bare-footed at communal places such as swimming pool.

When to Consult a Doctor

Self treatment is not advisable if:

  • You are having diabetes mellitus or any blood circulation problems.
  • The wart changes in appearance; the shape or colour
  • The warts recur after 3 self-treatment courses.