Corns and Calluses

Corns and Calluses

What are Corns and Calluses?

Corns and calluses are one of the most common conditions treated by Podiatrists. Calluses are a thick, hardened layer of skin, often the result of rubbing, friction or pressure. Corns are much smaller and have a hard centre which develops on the tops or sides of toes. A corn or callus can occur anywhere on the foot and varies in its symptoms, from a mild thickening of the skin on the bottom of the foot, to an ulcer that can develop beneath a corn on the toe.

What causes Corns and Calluses?

Too much pressure in combination with some type of friction. There is no other way that corns and calluses develop. The pressure plus friction causes the skin to react and thicken to form a natural barrier, but as the pressure continues the area becomes quite painful.

Too much pressure can be caused by:

  • Tight footwear
  • Other conditions of the foot such as Hammer toes – the tops of the hammer toes increase pressure
  • Bony prominence
  • Bunions
  • Biomechanical abnormalities such as a gait that can result in pressure in different areas under the foot, usually resulting in Calluses.

There are a variety of problem that arise with the formation of corns or callus so it is best to consider that they are not the problem, rather a symptom of an underlying condition.

What do Corns and Calluses look like?

Corns usually appear as a horny type thickening more common on the toes. Hard corns are often located on the outside of little toes, but they can also develop on the upper side of any toe and sometimes between your toes. Soft corns usually develop between your toes and it kept soft by the level of moisture in the area. A Callus however is more a diffuse area of thickening and does not have this same focal point as a corn.

Below are some images to assist you with identifying corns and calluses on your feet:

How are Corns and Calluses treated?

If corns and calluses are not treated they can become painful and will not heel on their own unless the cause is taken away. If left untreated the body may begin to see the corn or callus as a foreign body and develop an ulcer which can lead to infection.

Medical Pedicure will provide you with a proper assessment of the problem, and help determine the cause so that a plan can be implemented to manage the condition. This may include regular foot maintenance to assist with keeping the corns or calluses reduced, padding or strapping to help prevent pressure, and advice about footwear.

It’s best to consult with Medical Pedicure in regards to treatment options and avoid any “at home” remedies as these can often worsen the problem.


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