Water callus is a bubble containing a transparent liquid formed on the skin as a result of its mechanical damage by friction. Simply put, this is what is popularly called “dropsy”. Most often, water calluses are formed in the places of the feet in contact with the shoes and on the areas of the palms and fingers holding the tool when working. With the right approach to treatment and careful attitude to the damaged area of the skin, the water callus heals quickly, leaving no traces.
The mechanism of formation of “dropsy” is associated with friction, which leads to a shift of the surface layer of the skin relative to the layers located below. In most cases, the initial skin changes that occur under the influence of friction go unnoticed. Further exposure leads to the final exfoliation of the surface layer of the skin and the formation of a cavity, which is gradually filled with intercellular fluid. So a water callus appears on the friction-exposed area.
The main factor causing the formation of a water callus is friction. So, when wearing too tight, uncomfortable or rigid shoes, the areas of the skin of the foot that are most closely in contact with it are subjected to friction. The appearance of “dropsy” is facilitated by sweating feet or the presence of a hole in the sock. A water callus can also form on the body if some part of the skin constantly rubs against too tight clothes.
When working with the tool for a long time (for example, while digging up the ground, working with a saw, peeling vegetables, playing tennis), a water callus may also form on the skin of the brush. The formation of such calluses is more common in people with delicate and sensitive skin, with increased sweating.
In the initial period, redness, slight swelling and soreness appear at the site of friction. Then a bubble appears on the skin, filled with a clear liquid — a water callus. At this stage, a water callus can cause significant pain, the slightest touch to the bladder causes tension in its walls and increased pain. With any mechanical injury (impact, compression, continued friction, etc.), the bubble bursts and the liquid contained in it begins to flow out. If there is a separation of the walls of the bladder, then a red wet wound remains on the skin.
After the rupture of an aqueous callus, its infection may occur with the formation of a callus abscess. The risk of getting a staphylococcal or streptococcal infection is much greater if the callus has opened with the separation of the wall. The signs of the infectious process include: redness that goes beyond the callus, intense pain without mechanical action, turbidity of the fluid in the water callus, the presence of yellow crusts around the callus, pus discharge from the callus, temperature rise.
In most cases, the treatment of water calluses can be carried out independently. Small calluses usually do not cause painful sensations and do not open by themselves. Therefore, they are simply covered with a plaster that protects them from injury. If the water callus is large, then it causes significant discomfort and is fraught with rupture. It is better to pierce such a “dropsy”. The most favorable time for a puncture is the first day after the appearance of a bubble on the skin.
Piercing of a water callus should be carried out with the obligatory observance of certain rules to avoid infection in the callus. First, it is necessary to disinfect the puncture site. To do this, lubricate the water callus with iodine or green paint. Secondly, the puncture can only be made with a sterile needle. You can take an ordinary pin or sewing needle. To sterilize it, it must be held in alcohol or calcined over a fire.
The puncture should be done on the side of the water callus, inserting the needle almost parallel to the surface of the skin. In no case should the corn be pierced perpendicular to its surface, since in this case the needle injures the bottom of the callus. In order for the outflow of fluid from the water corn to occur constantly, it is better to make several punctures. The main thing is not to overdo it and keep the walls of the bubble. Like a natural bandage, they cover the delicate skin located inside the water callus and protect it from damage and infection.
After the punctures are made, the water callus is gently pressed with a gauze napkin so that all the available liquid comes out of it. If, over time, the corn is filled with contents again, it will be necessary to repeat the puncture. To prevent the development of infection after a puncture, an antibiotic-containing ointment is applied to the water callus. Then close the callus with a protective patch, which should be changed at least 2 times a day and removed at night.
If the opening of a water callus occurred spontaneously and with the separation of its wall, the resulting wound must be cleaned and disinfected, an antibacterial ointment applied and the callus covered with a gauze pad with a Band-Aid. The latter will protect the water callus from contamination and injury, creating favorable conditions for its healing.
If an infection gets into the water callus, its opening is required with the removal of the walls, since favorable conditions are created in the closed callus for the development of the infectious process and suppuration. Therefore, in case of infection, you should seek help from a surgeon. In compliance with all the rules of asepsis, he will perform an autopsy and primary treatment of an infected water callus, apply a bandage to ensure drainage of the wound and prescribe local antibacterial treatment.
Prevention of the formation of “water marks” is, first of all, protection of the skin from friction. The best remedy for their appearance on the hands is to work in protective gloves. To protect your feet from them, you need to carefully approach the choice of shoes. It should not be tight and comfortable at the first fitting. For sports, it is better to buy special shoes and clothes designed specifically for the chosen sport.
Closed shoes should always be worn on the toe. Moreover, an acrylic sock protects the foot from friction better than a cotton one. The fact is that cotton fabric becomes coarse after a couple of washes. It does not allow sweat to evaporate and at the same time gets wet with your feet, which increases friction. For heavy loads (long walking, running, jumping, sports games), it is better to wear two socks: acrylic, and cotton on top of it.
Wet skin is rubbed faster with the formation of a water callus. Therefore, before you take up a knife for paring vegetables, you should carefully wipe your hands. If we are talking about shoes, then it must be thoroughly dried and fight foot sweating. Currently, there is a large selection of various creams and sprays that reduce sweating on the legs. For this purpose, you can use ordinary talc, sprinkling them on the soles and interdigital spaces.