Are you a gymnast? Are you a runner? Are you an athlete? Or are you just a hard-working person that uses his hands and feet vigorously? Maybe you have worn shoe that is not comfortable? Or shoes that are smaller than your foot size?
Then, you found this part of your skin raised and sometimes painful, or could be an area of hard thick skin. It could be uncomfortable in the feeling, but that is just a common skin injury that is most people have.
Our hands and feet are the most used parts of our bodies. Sometimes we tend to overwork resulting in these conditions: blisters, callus, and corn. These skin injuries are caused by friction when there are two surfaces rub against each other. Well, in this case, one of the surfaces is your sensitive skin. (Read Hiking Essentials for Beginners)
Maybe you think to yourself, how could you tell it is a blister? How about a callus? Or what is corn? And what is the difference between blister and callus? Callus and corn? Blister and corn? Overall, what is the difference between them? If you keep reading, we will talk about that one by one.
Before discussing what these skin problems are, you should know that blisters, callus, and corn, have something in common. They signal your body that you just had a skin trauma. They are developed because of repeatedly rubbing against something.
What is Blister?
A blister is a raised skin with a watery liquid inside. The fluid in the blister could be water, blood, or sometimes yellowish liquid if it has a yellowish liquid inside. It may indicate that it is infected.
Blisters form when the uppermost layer of skin gets damaged and torn apart. Because a clear fluid naturally surrounds cells, it flows down in the lower layers to protect the tissue from getting more damage, resulting in raised bubble-like skin.
You can get blisters on your feet when you wear uncomfortable shoes for a long duration or because the size of your footwear is not the same as your foot. You can have blisters on your hand if you are doing something that exposed your skin and keeps rubbing on to some surfaces, such as a gymnast grabbing on a pole for long hours, riding a bike without using protective gloves, etc.
A part of your body, hands, or feet that gets blisters and continue to be rubbed every day could lead to callus overtime.
What is a Callus?
A callous is an area of a skin that is hard, thick, and sometimes is not painful at all. Callous develops in the places or part of the body that has been rubbed and get a lot of friction multiple times.
The outermost layer of the skin is made up of dead skin cells that protect the layers beneath. If that part of the skin got scrapped due to friction, the body responds and creates dead skin cells layer to preserve the living layers below. The skin will pile up, gets hardens, and thickens, resulting in callus.
Callus formed on hands sometimes served as protection on others. For example, gymnasts have a callus on their hands because of repeated pressure made by swinging on the poles. Guitarists have their callus on fingertips because of plucking on the guitar strings.
Once the callus is formed, it is now easier for athletes to swing on the poles and musicians to play instruments.
But callus on foot is a different case, having callus on the foot, sole, and the heel could be troublesome as you are always stepping on them.
A callus is made because of still wearing tight shoes or heels, as they put a lot of pressure on the parts of your foot that are not used to stress. However, some people developed a callus on their feet because of genetic illness. (Read Best Water Shoes for Men)
What are Corns?
Maybe you kind of thought this corn as food but no. Corn is usually formed on hands and feet, just like a callus; it is a wide area of the skin and caused by friction and pressure.
A Corn usually looks like a yellow ring of skin and has a grey color in the middle that is hard. They are developed in the bony area of fingers and toes. Corns could be painful and brought discomfort when walking if they grow between toes.
Prevention is better than cure. To prevent yourself from getting blisters, callus, and corn wear protective gloves to protect your hands when working on something.
Most of the time, people get blisters, callus, and corn on their feet because of poorly fitting shoes that they are wearing. Buy shoes that are exact and the same as your foot size. Make sure that they are comfortable, try to fit them, and walk it around before buying. You don’t save money, but you also keep your delicate foot from getting skin problems.
Take care of yourself. Unfortunately, you already have blisters, callus, and corn because you’ve worked hard, don’t worry because you may cure these skin conditions at home.
Blisters could heal on their own. Even if it is tempting to pop the liquid inside, you should not because it may get infected. Please keep it clean and dry and avoid rubbing and putting pressure on it.
To soften your callus and make it go away faster, you can soak it in warm water and rub it with a washcloth or pumice stone gently. You can reduce the thickness of the callus using a foot file. Make sure to keep the callus thin and smooth because it may rip off if gets too thick and had sudden pressure on it. (Read Where to Go Hiking)
Corns are a little bit stubborn to remove. You can try pads that have salicylic acid; this acid helps to take down dead skin cells to get rid of corn. But people with existing health conditions should avoid it. If it gets too much pain, you might want to seek professional help.