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Why do I get corns in winter and not summer? Why are my heels cracked in summer and not winter? A West Lakes Podiatrist answers

Why do I get corns in winter and not summer? Why are my heels cracked in summer and not winter? Here are the answers:

1. Corns

Unlike Callus which usually occurs first, these are much harder and a result of callused skin condensing almost to the consistency of crystal. They tend to form on the ball of the foot, on the outside of the 5th toe, in between the toes (typically 4th and 5th) and over the joints of the toes.  They will even form on the side of a nail in the nail fold or even under the nail. Corns form in areas of high pressure or irritation, commonly from tight/poor footwear which is why they often occur in winter time (where closed-shoes are worn), compared to summer.  They can be treated by scalpel debridement and changing footwear and/or offloading parts of the foot where the corns are.

2. Cracked Heels

Open forms of footwear such as thongs and sandals (worn in summer) cause our  skin to dry out faster than it would inside a sock and/or shoe (worn in winter). Dry cracked heels are a classic case of this where the skin around the heel has become dry which reduces its elasticity. The skin in our heels need a degree of elasticity to expand when we are standing. Where the skin cannot expand it tends to crack or tears causing large callus fissures. In some cases it will tear down to raw skin. Dry cracked heels can be treated by removing the callus/fissures with a scalpel, then moisture-maintainance; rubbing an emollient (moisturiser), like Sorbelene cream onto the heel aspect. Best results are seen when people moisturise daily after showering.

Picture references:

‘Walk without pain’ 2010, viewed 29 November 2013,  http://www.walkwithoutpain.com.au/corns-and-calluses/

‘Treatment for cracked heels’, viewed 29 November 2013, http://healthveda.com/ayurvedic-treatment-for-cracked-heels-

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Adam Wiles

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