Corns and Callus

Calluses are thickened, hard skin that occur on the foot in areas that receive increased friction or pressure. Corns appear as a horny thickening of the skin on the toes or beneath the foot. This thickening appears as a cone shaped mass pointing down into the skin and is often surrounded by callus. They are actually a normal and natural way for the body to protect itself (the soft tissues beneath the skin), similar to your hands.  If the pressure continues the skin gets thicker and usually becomes painful.

Photograph of a callus on the foot Corns and Callus

Corns and Callus Symptoms

  • Feels like there is a stone, bruise or you will feel as if you are “walking on pebbles”.
  • Pain
  • Roughness
There are 4 main types of corns or callus which occur on our feet;
  • Callus can occur anywhere on the foot that is susceptible to increased pressure. It appears in a diffuse area of hard skin which is yellowish in colour  and can often have cracks (or fissures) within them.
  • Hard corns are usually located on the outer surface of the little toe or on the upper surface of the other toes, but can occur between the toes as well as the bottom of the foot over a prominent bone or an area of high pressure
  • Seed corns are very focal areas of high pressure or and friction about the size of the head of a needle. Smaller than a hard corn. However, they are often more painful.
  • A soft corn occurs between the toes and often appears white and macerated (or soggy). These can be further implicated by a tinea pedis (fungal) infection due to the moist nature of the soft corn.

Common causes

  • Deformities of the toes such as hammer toes, claw toes, bunions- all predispose the foot to areas of increased pressure.
  • Tight or incorrectly fitted footwear.
  • Gait abnormalities which cause the foot to be overloaded in particular areas.
  • Bony prominences.
  • Friction.

Treatment for Corns and Callus

  • Your Advance Foot Clinic Podiatrist will relatively painlessly remove the build up of skin. This should give you immediate relief.
  • Shoe padding to prevent rapid reappearance.
  • Footwear advice or modification.
  • If biomechanics is a contributory cause – orthotics may be considered.
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs  (Nurofen etc).

What can you do?

  • Avoid walking barefoot.
  • Wear correctly fitted footwear. Avoiding pointy toed shoes such as heels.
  • Have your corns and callus regularly debrided.
  • Wear toe slips to cushion bony prominences.
Illustration of a callus

Take the first step towards happy and healthy feet.

Ready to give your feet the care they deserve? Book your appointment online or call us and experience our expert podiatry services at any of our six clinic locations.