WHAT IS A CALLUS?
Let’s take a look at what a callus is to understand the treatment of callus. A callus is an area of thickened skin that occurs in response to increased periods of pressure or friction in that area.
So a callus can be thought of as an adaptive mechanism of the body to compensate for the extra pressures that are applied to that area.
Often confused with another condition called corn ( medical term = heloma )
HOW IS IT DIFFERENT FROM A CORN?
A callus is an area of thickened skin that occurs over a diffuse or large area and the limits or borders are not very distinct.
On the other hand, a corn has a central core or plug and is much more localized and painful compared to callus.
WHY DOES IT FORM?
FIRST, looking at the NORMAL counterpart
A normal epithelium consists of five layers : ( from down upwards ) :
- STRATUM BASALE: Consists of cells that differentiate or convert into the cells in the upper layers.
- STRATUM SPINOSUM: They have a spiny appearance on the microscope and hence the name.
- STRATUM GRANULOSUM: The cells in this layer contain a lot of granules or membrane bound bodies.
- STRATUM LUCIDUM: A layer of clear or trans’lucent’ cells and is visible more apparently in areas of thick skin such as palms and soles.
- STRATUM CORNEUM: The topmost layer of cells that are flattened and dead. Serve as a barrier of protection against infection, mechanical stress, chemicals, loss of water (dehydration).
DESQUAMATION: The cells of the topmost layer eventually shed away and are replaced by similar cells from the below layers. A process by which our skin replenishes itself.
Normally the cells in the epidermis are attached to each other by means of adhesion molecules such as desmosomes.