My mom used to wear those super-high heels all the time when I was young. I remember seeing bumps on the curved part of her toes and when I asked her about them she told me they were corns from rubbing against her shoes.
Sometimes she would wear those “corn” pads that had the centers cut out and periodically she would go to the podiatrist.
What are corns and calluses?
Corns and calluses are thickened hard layers of skin that build up in response to pressure and friction. Corns develop on the tops of your toes when they rub against shoes that are too tight or narrow. Calluses can develop anywhere on the feet but also on hands and fingers.
According to WebMD, corns and calluses do not need treatment unless they become painful, but it makes more sense to avoid conditions that may allow them to form in the first place.
Corns and calluses often develop due to ill-fitting shoes that either compress the foot, like those lovely heels my mom wore, or if shoes are too loose the foot is allowed to move around too much. Even a poorly placed or overly-thickened seam in the shoe can cause rubbing.
Another cause of corns and calluses is not wearing socks so that there is more friction against the foot in the shoe. Conversely, wearing socks that don’t fit well can cause the same problem.
What to do:
First, ditch those shoes you know are causing you problems. Instead, wear shoes that are wider in the toe box and fit comfortably. You need to be able to wiggle your toes and not feel any seams rubbing.
You can try some of the over-the-counter pad products such as mole skin or other protective foot pads and see if the area resolves on its own.
If there is no improvement, make an appointment with a podiatrist to make sure that there isn’t another condition such as a cyst, a wart or other infection occurring. The podiatrist will then help decide how best to proceed.
It is especially important to consult a doctor if you have a chronic health condition such as diabetes, peripheral neuropathy or circulatory problems.
If the corn/callus area has become large and thickened, the doctor may decide to trim it using a scalpel.