Saturday, 18 August 2018

Corns and calluses are areas of hard

thickened skin that develop when the skin is exposed to excessive pressure or friction. They commonly occur on the feet and can cause pain and discomfort when you walk.

Corns
Corns are small circles of thick skin that usually develop on the tops and sides of toes or on the sole of the foot. However, they can occur anywhere.

Corns are often caused by:

wearing shoes that fit poorly – shoes that are too loose can allow your foot to slide and rub
certain shoe designs that place excessive pressure on an area of the foot – for example, high-heeled shoes can squeeze the toes
Corns often occur on bony feet as there's a lack of natural cushioning. They can also develop as a symptom of another foot problem, such as:

a bunion – where the joint of the big toe sticks outwards as the big toe begins to point towards the other toes on the same foot
hammer toe – where the toe is bent at the middle joint
Calluses
Calluses are hard, rough areas of skin that are often yellowish in colour. They can develop on the:

feet – usually around the heel area or on the skin under the ball of the foot
palms of the hands
knuckles
Calluses are larger than corns and don't have such a well-defined edge. As callused skin is thick, it's often less sensitive to touch than the surrounding skin.

Calluses develop when the skin rubs against something, such as a bone, a shoe or the ground. They often form over the ball of your foot because this area takes most of your weight when you walk.

Activities that put repeated pressure on the foot, such as running or walking barefoot, can cause calluses to form. Athletes are particularly susceptible to them.

Other possible causes of calluses include:

dry skin
reduced fatty padding – elderly people have less fatty tissue in their skin
regularly holding objects such as a hammer or racquet
Treating corns and calluses
If you have a corn on your foot, you should see a podiatrist, also known as a chiropodist, who can advise you about treatment.

Your GP may be able to refer you on the NHS, but each case is decided by your local CCG. If your condition is unlikely to affect your health or mobility, you may not be eligible for NHS treatment.

Find foot care specialists in your local area

Can I get chiropody or podiatry on the NHS?

Treating corns
Corns on feet won't get better unless the cause of the pressure is removed. If the cause isn't removed, the skin could become thicker and more painful over time.

A corn is a symptom of an underlying problem. You should only treat it yourself if you know the cause and you've spoken to a specialist about the best way to manage it.

Over-the-counter treatments for corns, such as corn plasters, are available from pharmacists. However, they don't treat the cause of the corn and may affect the normal, thinner skin surrounding the corn.

Corn plasters may not be suitable for certain people, such as those with diabetes, circulation problems, or fragile skin.

Treating calluses
As with corns, you should only treat calluses yourself after a podiatrist has identified the cause and advised you about treatment.

The podiatrist may be able to treat corns or badly callused areas using a sharp blade to remove the thickened area of skin. This is painless and should help reduce pain and discomfort. They can also provide advice on self-care and prescribe special insoles.

Read more about treating corns and calluses.

Preventing corns and calluses
You can also help prevent corns and calluses by looking after your feet and choosing the right shoes to wear.A coronary angioplasty is a procedure used to widen blocked or narrowed coronary arteries (the main blood vessels supplying the heart).

The term "angioplasty" means using a balloon to stretch open a narrowed or blocked artery. However, most modern angioplasty procedures also involve inserting a short wire-mesh tube, called a stent, into the artery during the procedure. The stent is left in place permanently to allow blood to flow more freely.

Coronary angioplasty is sometimes known as percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA). The combination of coronary angioplasty with stenting is usually referred to as percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).

When a coronary angioplasty is used
Like all organs in the body, the heart needs a constant supply of blood. This is supplied by the coronary arteries.

In older people, these arteries can become narrowed and hardened (known as atherosclerosis), which can cause coronary heart disease.

If the flow of blood to the heart becomes restricted, it can lead to chest pain known as angina, which is usually triggered by physical activity or stress.

While angina can often be treated with medication, a coronary angioplasty may be required to restore the blood supply to the heart in severe cases where medication is ineffective.

Coronary angioplasties are also often used as an emergency treatment after a heart attack.

What are the benefits of a coronary angioplasty?
In most cases, the blood flow through the coronary arteries improves after an angioplasty. Many people find their symptoms get significantly better and they’re able to do more than they could before the procedure.

If you've had a heart attack, an angioplasty can increase your chances of surviving more than clot-busting medication (thrombolysis). The procedure can also reduce your chances of having another heart attack in the future.

How a coronary angioplasty is performed
A coronary angioplasty is performed using local anaesthetic, which means you'll be awake while the procedure is carried out.

A thin flexible tube called a catheter will be inserted into one of your arteries through an incision in your groin, wrist or arm. This is guided to the affected coronary artery using an X-ray video.

When the catheter is in place, a thin wire is guided down the length of the affected coronary artery, delivering a small balloon to the affected section of artery. This is then inflated to widen the artery, squashing fatty deposits against the artery wall so blood can flow through it more freely when the deflated balloon is removed.

If a stent is being used, this will be around the balloon before it's inserted. The stent will expand when the balloon is inflated and remains in place when the balloon is deflated and removed.

A coronary angioplasty usually takes between 30 minutes and two hours. If you're being treated for angina, you'll normally be able to go home later the same day or the day after you have the procedure. You'll need to avoid heavy lifting, strenuous activities and driving for at least a week.

If you've been admitted to hospital following a heart attack, you may need to stay in hospital for several days after the angioplasty procedure before going home.

Read more about:

what happens during a coronary angioplasty
recovering from a coronary angioplasty
How safe is a coronary angioplasty?
A coronary angioplasty is one of the most common types of treatment for the heart. Around 75,000 procedures are performed in England each year.

Coronary angioplasties are most commonly performed in people aged 65 or older, as they're more likely to have heart disease.

As the procedure doesn't involve making major incisions in the body, it's usually carried out safely in most people. Doctors refer to this as a minimally invasive form of treatment.

The risk of serious complications from a coronary angioplasty is generally small, but this depends on factors such as:

your age
your general health
whether you've had a heart attack
Serious problems that can occur as a result of the procedure include excessive bleeding, a heart attack and a stroke.

Read more about the possible complications of a coronary angioplasty.

Are there any alternatives?
If many coronary arteries have become blocked and narrowed, or the structure of your arteries is abnormal, a coronary artery bypass graft may be considered.

This is a type of invasive surgery where sections of healthy blood vessel are taken from other parts of the body and attached to the coronary arteries. Blood is diverted through these vessels, so it bypasses the narrowed or clogged parts of the arteries.

Follow the advice below to help stop any hard dry skin developing:

Dry your feet thoroughly after washing them and apply a special moisturising foot cream (not body lotion).
Use a pumice stone or foot file regularly to gently remove hard skin. If you use a pumice stone, make sure it dries completely between uses and doesn't harbour bacteria. 
Wear comfortable footwear that fits properly. Always shop for shoes in the afternoon, because your feet swell as the day goes on. This means shoes that fit in the afternoon will be comfortable. You should be able to move your toes inside the shoe with a small gap between the front of the shoe and your longest toe. If possible, avoid wearing heels as they increase the pressure on the front of your feet.
Don't put up with foot pain as if it's normal. Either see a podiatrist directly or go to your GP, who may refer you to a podiatrist. They'll be able to investigate the underlying cause of your foot pain

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