Clavus or commonly referred to as eyelets is a condition when horn cells on the skin are thickened and the center of the thickened horn cell layer sinks into the dermis, so that its shape resembles a fish eye. This usually tends to occur on the soles of the feet due to shoe friction.

Signs and symptoms of eyelets

You may have eyelets if you experience the following signs:

  • Skin thickens
  • The skin is raised and hardened
  • Pain and pain under your skin
  • Scaly, dry, or wax-like skin

Types of eyelets

There are 2 types of eyelets that we need to know, namely:

1. Hard fish eyes (heloma durums)

This is the most common type of fish eye and basically occurs due to wearing inappropriate shoes. If the toes are curved inside the shoe due to the shoes being too narrow, this will result in hard fish eyes. The rest, the fingertips that bend also put pressure on the shoe base, so that eyelets arise to protect the tissue under the skin. So, the main cause of the formation of hard fish eyes is excessive pressure so that the skin thickens at the point of experiencing a lot of pressure.

2. Soft fish eye (molle heloma)

This basically occurs between the fourth and fifth fingers in the case of too wide toes. The formation of soft fish eyes occurs when the tip of the leg bone that is too wide makes friction between the toes. The use of narrow shoes can aggravate this condition. However, people who have normal toes can also experience soft fish eyes. Usually when women wear high heels or shoes with the front end of the shoes that are elongated. Shoes with a shape like this can shift the weight of the body to the front of the shoe, thereby reducing the space for the toes.

Difference between fish eye and wart

Fish eyes are different from warts. Warts are caused by the HPV virus and tend to multiply. Warts also appear in areas that do not experience friction, and sometimes accompanied by small bleeding. Whereas eyelets are caused by the bones of the foot or foot that swipe the ground, shoes, or other toes with repeated pressure and friction. Another difference is that the fish eye will feel sore when pressed while the wart will feel sore if pinched.

Difference between fish eyes and calluses

Fish's eyes are smaller than calluses and have a hard central part surrounded by inflamed skin. Fish eyes are usually found on the toes, while calluses are usually found on the heel, foot ball, palms, or knees. We know that eyelets hurt if pressed, unlike the case with calluses. Calluses rarely hurt and they also vary in size and shape. Usually calluses are more than 2 cm in size and larger than eyelets.

How to treat eyelets

1. Reducing pressure

Reducing pressure can prevent the fish eye from getting worse. The method for reducing pressure is:

  • Wear pads on areas that have eyelets
  • Wear shoes that fit your feet
  • Wear orthotic soles to help divide the pressure in the area affected by fish eyes

2. Using salicylic acid

Salicylic acid can soften fish eyes. Also rub with pumice stone to make it easier to remove eyelets

3. Using liquid nitrogen

This liquid freezes the fish's eye and then removes it. But this treatment will make pain in the affected part of the eye dive for 1-2 days. This treatment will produce blisters, this is normal. Perform this treatment for 1-2 weeks for better results and do it regularly, if not, recovery will take longer.

4. Perform operation

Surgery is performed by a foot surgeon, usually this surgery is done to trim the bone which causes abnormal pressure on the foot.

How to prevent eyelets

There are several prevention measures for fish eye formation, such as:

  • Avoid activities that cause friction when wearing tight shoes
  • Wear shoes that match and exactly match the shape of the foot
  • Change the shoe sole that is uneven and does not fit the leg
  • Wearing flexible stockings and not making cramping fingers
  • Wear socks to protect the feet from forming fish eyes
  • Measure your feet before buying shoes


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