Knuckle pads

Knuckle pads

Chris Schach

Author Bio -


Key Points
*Condition where the skin becomes thick
*Caused by repetitive and excessive friction
*Can occur in all persons, excepting infants
*Consists of thickened, slightly discolored skin

Calluses are a common condition which occurs when excessive and repetitive friction applied to an area of skin, causing it to thicken, harden and discolor. Affected areas may also become flaky and dry. Calluses may be painful, causing a burning of the affected area.

Several factors contribute to the formation of calluses, including deformities which cause abnormal force to be applied to a larger area, excessive weight, and footwear. Anyone can be afflicted with calluses, excepting infants.

Differential Diagnosis (Other conditions with similar appearance)
Soft tissue tumor

Key Points
*Diagnosis based on skin appearance
*In rare cases, testing may be required to rule out other conditions

Calluses are generally diagnosed based on appearance. In rare cases, testing may be required to rule out other conditions.

*Goal of treatment is to control and lessen symptoms
*Prevention of friction is the primary treatment
*Does not generally require attention by health care professionals
OTC Options: Moisturizers, emery boards, pumice stones, shoe inserts

The primary method of treating calluses is to alleviate friction on the area. Changing footwear, use of shoe inserts, and moisturizing dry skin in the area can help to alleviate this. Emery boards and pumice stones can also be used to pare down the callus.

Treatment by health care professionals is generally not needed, but should be sought out if a callus becomes too bothersome. Paring the affected area or prescribing topical ointments such as Urea to dissolve the thickened skin are among the things that may be recommended. Diabetics should watch calluses carefully, as there is danger of the formation of diabetic ulcers in these cases.

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