Corns and Calluses

Corns and calluses are thickened layers of skin that develop on the feet as a result of the skin protecting itself from friction and pressure. Corns and calluses do not often cause serious medical problems, but they may be painful, especially when walking. Many people are also bothered by the appearance of these growths, as they appear as hard, raised bumps or thick, rough areas of skin.

Symptoms of Corns and Calluses

Both corns and calluses are troublesome conditions that may affect the feet and can be identified through different characteristics.


Corns usually have hard center and are surrounded by inflamed skin. They commonly develop on the tops of the toes, sides of the feet and toes, and even in between the toes. They may cause pain when any pressure is applied.


Calluses may appear as rough, thickened patches of skin that usually develop on the soles, and heels of the feet. They can also develop on the palms of the hands and knees. They are often larger than corns, although they are rarely painful.

Treatment of Corns and Calluses

Home remedies and treatment for corns and calluses may include:

  • Using medicated corn pads
  • Moisturizing the skin
  • Soaking feet in warm water
  • Using salicylic acid
  • Wearing shoe inserts to protect the affected areas

Individuals who may be bothered by the inflammation and discomfort of corns and calluses on their feet should consult with a doctor for medical treatment. Doctors may examine the skin to see if any underlying factors are causing problems with the skin. Patients with diabetes may be at a higher risk of developing complications from these conditions and should seek immediate treatment. Medical treatment may include trimming excess skin, antibiotics, and in severe cases, surgery may be necessary.

Prevention of Corns and Calluses

Although not all corns and calluses can be prevented, the following recommendations may help prevent corns and calluses from developing:

  • Wear shoes that fit properly and have plenty of room
  • Wear felt pads, corn pads or bandages over areas that rub against foot wear
  • Keep skin moisturized

Using a pumice stone to rub off dead skin, may also be an effective method to prevent calluses from developing.

Additional Resources