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Basic Daily Foot Care for Men and Women 
 
by L M Kensington September 27, 2005

Foot deformities and growths

Even if you wear comfortable shoes, your feet can develop pain-causing deformities and growths. Examples are bunions, hammertoes, calluses, corns, warts, cracked heels, and deformed toes.

Bunions

Bunions are the painful enlargement or misalignment of the bone at the base of the big toe, usually caused by poorly fitting shoes. Some bunions are hereditary and lead to arthritis of the joint if left untreated, progressively getting worse. It also prevents women from wearing stylish shoes because bunions make the feet look ugly. Bunions can be shaved off with cosmetic foot surgery. Modern procedures are fast and effective and recovery time is faster. It used to take months after surgery before the patient can return to work. Now, the recovery period is down to a few weeks.

Hammertoes

Hammertoes happen when the joints of the toe become contracted and the toe begins to curl inwards. The deformity can be either flexible or rigid depending on the behavior of the muscles attached to the toes. This can become worse if left untreated with cosmetic surgery. Toes are straightened and the foot is narrowed to allow normal, fashionable shoes to be worn.

Hammertoes and bunions may also be caused by arthritis, so consult your podiatrist and medical doctor to find out which treatment is best.

Calluses and Corns

Calluses are hard thick dead skin found at the bottom of the foot, heel or ball of the foot. This is usually caused by excessive pressure and friction between the shoe and the skin.

Corns are also hard thick dead skin, usually found on top of the foot, covering areas of protruding bone, hammertoes or contracted digits. They can also be found in between the toes where there is excessive bony prominence on the side of the toe. This is caused by irritation from poorly fitting shoes.

Calluses and corns are your body’s way of telling you that your shoes do not fit properly, or your bones are getting deformed. They are the body’s way of protecting the prominent bony areas under the skin. The best solution is to have your foot bones checked for deformities and to change your shoes to a pair that fits well.

Generally, it is not a good idea to use a sharp instrument like a callus shaver to remove these growths as you might hurt yourself – unless you ask a professional to do this service for you. Using a pumice stone is safer. For best results, remove calluses when the skin is soft and supple, like after a bath or shower or after soaking your feet in a foot spa.

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