Table of Contents
Introduction - Calluses and Corns
Calluses and corns are skin problems often found on the feet. A callus is a thick, hardened skin on the bottom of the foot that protects the skin from too much friction. They are often found on the ball of the foot, the heel and under the big toe. Corns and calluses are your body’s response to friction or pressure against the skin. If your foot rubs inside your shoe, the affected area of skin thickens. Of if a bone is not in the normal position, skin caught between bone and shoe or bone and ground builds up. In either case, the outer layer of skin thickens to protect the foot from unusual pressure.
A corn forms when two toes rub together, causing thicker skin with inflamed tissue underneath. Corns between the toes have soft cores, while those on the top of a toe are hard corns.
Both of these skin growths are caused by excess pressure and friction and can result from overuse, from an abnormal gait, and by wearing shoes that are either too tight or too loose.
In many cases, corns and calluses look bad but are not harmful. However, more severe corns and calluses may become infected, destroy healthy tissue, or affect foot movement. But with your doctor’s help, corns and calluses can be controlled.
Calluses and Corns - Symptoms
Your Physical Exam
Treating Calluses and Corns
Visit Your Doctor
Home treatment can be effective for corns and calluses that are not painful:
- Soak feet in warm, soapy water and then rub the thickened areas with a pumice stone or foot file.
- Apply a moisturizing lotion or cream every night and cover with a loose sock.
- Add over-the-counter moleskin or pads – not with salicylic acid – directly to the callus or corn to ease pressure.
Professional podiatric treatment can help ease the symptoms and eliminate the skin growth. We will shave the surface of a callus to relieve pressure. An exfoliant such as a cream with urea can remove dead skin. An oral antibiotic can clear up any sign of infection.
If we determine that your callus or corn is caused by your gait or foot structure, custom-fitted orthotics can greatly ease the friction and pressure.