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Corns & Calluses

Corns form as a result of excessive pressure on the toes from pushing up against your shoes. The surface layer of your skin thickens irritating the tissue underneath. Soft corns develop between toes when they rub against each other whereas hard corns are formed on bony prominences under and over the feet.
A callus is an area of skin which has become relatively tough, thick and hard in response to repeated pressure, friction or other irritation. Since repeated contact is required, calluses are most often found on feet because of frequent walking.


Causes of Corns 

  • Wearing shoes that do not fit can either cause increased pressure  or create friction which forms corns
  • Conditions such as hammer toe or claw toe.
  • Wearing high heel shoes increases the pressure on the forefoot.
  • People with fragile skin or patients with diabetes are prone to developing corns
  • Wearing socks that don’t fit properly, or socks with seams


 Treatment Options

  • The podiatrist may perform a procedure to trim the dead layers of skin off to relieve the pain. They can be removed safely and painlessly by                                a podiatrist with immediate relief.
  • At home you can soak your feet often and use a callus file or pumice stone to reduce the size of the corn and calluses
  • Wearing non medicated corn pads will help relieve the pressure (medicated pads could aggravate the irritation and cause infection)
  • Help cushion the soft corns by wearing toe separators or using  a bit of lamb’s wool (not cotton wool)
  • Wear shoes that fit properly and have room for your toes.



Over-the-counter remedies such as corn plasters and paint generally only treat the symptoms – not the cause of the problem.  Medicated planters easily damage the healthy skin surrounding the corn. It is strongly recommended that commercial preparations only be used following professional advice.
It is important that you never cut corns or calluses yourself. Corns and callus are generally not harmful, but may sometimes lead to other problems, such as skin infections and ulcerations.


Seeing your podiatrist
We can recommend you many ways to relieve pain and get rid of the corn or callus and also help with isolating the cause and preventing the problem recurring.
To treat painful corns, your podiatrist will gently remove some of the hard skin of the callus so that the center of the corn can be removed. To allow the callus to heal and prevent future cases, your podiatrist may redistribute pressure on the foot with soft padding and strapping or deflective appliances that fit easily into your shoes. For corns on the toes, small foam sleeves, silicon sleeves and toe separators are useful for relieving pressure in affected parts. For those who have reduced fat pads under the balls of their feet, extra shock absorption silicone pads can be provided and can help to compensate for loss of natural padding.


Your podiatrist may also discuss the type of footwear most likely to cause corns and calluses. In some cases orthotics may be prescribed to reduce excessive weight bearing forces on the foot and provide long term relief.