When you look at a baby’s skin you will notice that the feet are just as soft as the face since there’s no wear and tear to the bottom of the soles. Eventually, as children turn into adults, you begin to notice how lifestyle factors greatly impact the skin. From the foods we eat, the amount of sleep and exercise we get, to how we manage stress, all seem to have a correlation to the way our bodies function. Try eating a box of cookies in one sitting and you will see a couple of extra pounds on the scale. In other instances your lifestyle does not have an immediate effect but can take its toll years later. For example, a few childhood sunburns can turn into trouble down the road.
Your skin is the largest organ in your body and seems to keep a scorecard on how well you treat it. Repeated friction and pressure on a specific area can result in thickened skin or calluses. Surfers can get them on their knees, weightlifters on their hands, and most of us will eventually find them on the soles of our feet.
Calluses are formed with extra layers of skin without nerves or a blood supply, and serve to protect your body from pain, injury, and infection. They are mostly found in areas of the body that are hairless and smooth and in sites affected by pressure and friction. It seems women get more calluses than men because of the fashionable shoes and high heels we wear.
Calluses often start as blisters that progress. When the foot rubs against an object, such as an uncomfortable shoe, the body sends out a warning sign. Its message states, “I see the pain is not being heeded, so I will therefore grow some extra skin to protect the area.”
The best way to eliminate a callus is to stop its cause. A podiatrist can easily pumice the skin and remove the callus; however, it can often reappear if you continue to trigger it. Applying moisturizer to the area will certainly soften the callus and make the skin look smooth but it will not remove it either.
While calluses often serve as protective cushions, corns (cone-shaped types of calluses caused by circular rubbing motions) sit on the bones of toes or fingers and can be quite painful. Once again, you will need to put an end to the cause. A visit to a podiatrist will help resolve the problem and create a solution. If necessary, the podiatrist can possibly design an orthotic to relieve the pressure.
An ounce of prevention is always worth a pound of cure. Be kind to your feet because they help you take great strides and bring you to various and exciting places. Summer is the perfect time to invest in a great pair of sneakers and some seasonably pretty but comfortable footwear.
Risselle Naimark is a Professional Freelance Makeup Artist and Skincare Consultant. She carries an extensive line of personalized skincare, cosmetics, and anti-aging products. Risselle is also available for weddings, Bar Mitzvahs, makeup lessons, and all of your beauty needs. She can be reached at 718 263-5517.