BUNIONS, CALLUSES, CORNS AND HAMMER TOES:
SYMPTOMS, CAUSES, PREVENTION, AND TREATMENT – EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THESE CONDITIONS
Locomotion plays a very critical role in the everyday life of a healthy and physically active person.Unfortunately, many are oblivious of the negative effects that may arise from certain repeated frictional rubs during movements or other daily routines that require mobility. These disorders vary from common symptoms such as skin irritation, to painful and, sometimes, unsightly foot conditions, including bunions, calluses, corns and hammer toes (or mallet toe). Read on to learn more details in this article.
WHAT ARE BUNIONS?
This essentially involves the malformation of a bone, a somewhat bony bump that forms at the base of your toe joint; which in most cases, is the big toe joint. If it is on the little toe joint, it is called a bunionette or tailors bunion. Although bunions can generally be managed without any further issues, the deformity is permanent unless it is surgically corrected. This condition develops as a result of your big toe being constantly pushed against the next toe. The result? A forced enlargement of your big toe’s joint. Causing it to get bigger and stick out. Depending on the level of irritation and severity, the skin over a bunion could be red and sore.
CAUSES OF BUNIONS
-Bunions are often a result of a compressed effect from wearing tight narrow shoes.
-They could also be the result of excessive stress on your foot, an inherited structural defect, or a medical condition (e.g. arthritis)
-Bunionettes refers to smaller bunions that develop on the joint of your little toe.
SYMPTOMS OF BUNIONS
– A painful protruding bump on the outer side of the joint of your big toe
– Swelling or redness around the joints of your big toe
– Corns or calluses development: the overlapping often of your first and second toes
– Intermittent or Persistent pain around the joint
– There could be a restriction in the movement of your big toe (especially if arthritis is involved)
– The arches of the feet can begin to fall in reaction to the misaligned toe
Depending on the severity, Bunions, generally, do not require any medical
treatment. It is, however, strongly recommended that you see a podiatrist or
orthopedic foot specialist if you notice any unusual feeling, deformity or painful
sensation around any part of your feet or toes. In extreme cases, surgical treatment
may be required.
This, notwithstanding, the most recommended treatment for Bunions is its
prevention. Or the removal of the cause; replacing your tight narrow shoes with
spacious larger ones. It is strongly advised that you wear shoes that are roomy or in
conformity to the shape and size of your feet. So you wouldn’t have any need to
squeeze or press any part of your foot in.
Nonsurgical Treatments include:
✔ Applying ice – to reduce the inflammation
✔ Changing shoes
✔ Medications – oral pain relievers or cortisone injections
✔ Padding and taping or splinting
✔ Shoe inserts
WHAT ARE CORNS AND CALLUSES?
It’s more or less the skin’s response in its attempt to protect itself against the effect
of friction and pressure. Corns and Calluses are, therefore, the thick, hardened layers
of skin that develop from these protective responses. And are often found around
the feet and toes or the hands and fingers. They occur to varying degrees and can
sometimes be unappealing.
THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN CORNS AND CALLUSES
They are pretty easy to identify. The most obvious difference being in their size.
Corns are smaller than calluses; with a hard center and inflamed skin. They tend to
develop on non-weight-bearing parts of your feet such as in between your toes; as
well as the tops and sides. They can be painful when pressed, and may also be found
in weight-bearing areas.
Calluses, on the other hand, are rarely painful. You’d usually find them on major
weight-supporting parts of your body such as under your heels or balls, the soles of
your feet, on your palms, or on your knees. Although calluses are often larger in size
than corns, they mostly vary in their shape and size.
CAUSES OF CORNS AND CALLUSES
They are generally caused by pressure and friction effects from repetitive actions.
And they have the tendency to grow larger if the cause is not checked. These
repetitive actions include:
✔ Wearing shoes or sandals without socks (or ill-fitted socks) can increase the
chances of friction on your feet.
✔ Playing musical instruments your bare hands/fingers
✔ Using hand tools that constantly rub against your hand/palm or fingers
✔ Engaging in routines or activities that constantly put undue pressure on your knee
✔ Wearing too tight or ill-fitted shoes that compress certain areas of your feet.
Or too loose shoes that cause constant frictional rubs between your foot and
the shoe. It may also occur if your foot rubs repeatedly against a stitch inside
SYMPTOMS OF CORNS AND CALLUSES
✔ The unusual development of any rough or thick area of your skin
✔ Hardened or raised bump on palm, heel, elbow or other weight supporting areas
✔ Waxy, flaky, or dry skin
✔ Unusual skin tenderness or pain
Healthy individuals may need treatment only if the corns or calluses cause
discomfort. In most cases, eliminating the source of pressure or friction simply makes
them disappear. Depending on the location of the corns or calluses, shoe inserts can
help to offload pressure.
WHAT IS A HAMMER TOE (OR MALLET TOE)?
A Hammertoe is a foot deformity that occurs as a result of a marked imbalance in the
supporting muscles, ligaments or tendons that are responsible for holding the toe
CAUSES OF HAMMER TOES
✔ The type of shoes you wear
✔ Your foot structure
✔ Diseases such as arthritis can contribute to the development of a hammertoe.
SYMPTOMS OF A HAMMER TOE
It can be easily detected from a painful sensation and abnormal bend in the middle
joint of your toe.
TREATMENT OF HAMMER TOES
The deformity can be corrected surgically. Also, toe spacers can be used to help train the
toes to lay more flat and spread out. Similar to bunions, corns, and calluses, relieving
the nagging pain and pressure of a hammertoe often requires that you change your footwear,
and wear shoe inserts. If the pain or nagging discomfort persists, it could be indicative of
the fact that you have a more severe case of hammertoe. And you may require a surgical
procedure to get relief.