Corns and Calluses

Do you have thick, hardened layers of skin on the bottom of your feet? Chances are you are suffering from common conditions called corns and calluses.

Corn and calluses are a result of your skin trying to protect itself from friction or pressure. Corns commonly form on the tops or sides of toes and are often caused by hammertoes or other misalignments, while most calluses form on the bottom of your feet.

Both conditions are characterized by thick, rough skin that can be flaky, dry or waxy in appearance; with corns, a raised, hardened bump can also appear. In addition—and particularly with corns, you may experience tenderness or pain at the affected area.

You are at increased risk for corns and calluses if you:

  • Suffer from bunions or hammer toes
  • Have foot deformities
  • Forego socks when wearing shoes

Prevention & Treatment

Typically, corns and calluses will slowly clear up on their own when the friction and pressure that caused them stops, but that may not always be possible when the cause is a foot deformity such as hammertoes.  To encourage healing of a callus, try a topical, over-the-counter cream to help soften cracked calluses or a pumice stone to gently remove a callus; corns often respond to over-the-counter salicylic-acid corn remedies or padding.

If a corn or callus persists or becomes painful, and your self-treatments have proved ineffective, your podiatrist may begin by shaving a callus or corn to reduce the thickness (don’t do this on your own!); further treatments can include medications, and, in extreme cases, surgery.

Went to Seek Care:

If your corn or callus become painful, inflamed or infected, you need to have your feet evaluated. If you suffer from diabetes or have poor blood circulation, it is even more important that you see your podiatrist before beginning any at-home treatment because even the most minor cut to your foot can result in an ulcer.

Click here to request an appointment with one of our podiatric specialists.