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What is hyperkeratosis?

Hyperkeratosis means “thickening skin,” and can occur with a number of different foot conditions. Hyperkeratosis on its own is not necessarily painful or even worrisome, as long as it is not being caused by an underlying condition. 

For example, there may be thickened skin on your heels or the soles of your feet. This is your body’s natural reaction to pressure and a way of protecting your body from injury and infection. If you were to walk barefoot on a thorn or step on a spider, the calluses on your feet will reduce the pain or sting, protecting the rest of your body.

However, thickened skin can also be a symptom of a bigger problem. Corns are often covered by a hardened layer of skin, but it is not the callus that is causing the pain. Calluses—and corns—occur in areas of continual pressure. Most often, this pressure is caused by tight or badly-fitted shoes. The corn develops much like a grain of sand at the center of a pearl. The longer the patient wears the shoes, the more layers of skin will build to protect the injury, like an oyster covering the sand to make it smooth.

Eventually, as the corn grows, the pressure will become unbearable and the patient will either have to change footwear to allow the corn to recede or undergo corn removal surgery. 

In order to find corn pain relievers that work, it is important to remember that friction and pressure are the only ways a person can suffer a corn. By removing the source of pressure, many patients will experience immediate relief as they allow the corn to heal.

For more corn removal advice from a trusted Philadelphia podiatrist, contact HealthMark Foot & Ankle Associates today at 610-565-3668 in Media or at 610-933-8644 in Phoenixville to set up a consultation.