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Corns & Callous

Corns and callouses are thickened areas of skin that develop as a result of friction or pressure on the skin. They are common foot problems and can occur on any part of the foot, but are most frequently found on the toes, soles, and heels.

Corns are small, round areas of thickened skin that typically have a central core or “plug” of hardened skin. They are often painful when pressure is applied to them. They are caused by the friction and pressure of shoes and hosiery rubbing against the skin.

Callouses are larger, flatter areas of thickened skin that develop on the soles of the feet and the palms of the hands. They are not usually painful. They are caused by repetitive activities such as walking or manual labor.

Treatment for corns and callouses typically includes self-care measures, such as:

  • Wearing comfortable shoes that fit well and provide enough room for the toes
  • Using padding to reduce friction and pressure on the affected area
  • Soaking the feet in warm water to soften the skin
  • Gently filing down the thickened skin with a pumice stone or foot file

If self-care measures are not effective, a podiatrist can provide further treatment. A podiatrist may:

  • Prescribe medicated pads or ointments
  • Perform a minor surgical procedure to remove the corn or callus
  • Provide custom-made shoe inserts or orthotics to redistribute pressure on the feet
  • Recommend physical therapy if the corns or calluses are caused by an underlying condition.

It is important to address corns and callouses as soon as possible to prevent complications such as infection or ulceration, especially if you have diabetes or other underlying medical conditions.