Corns and Calluses

Corns and Calluses

Corns and calluses are both hard spots on the foot caused by irritation to the skin from poorly fitting shoes or perspiring feet.


Tight shoes and high heels are common perpetrators of born corns and calluses. Women are more likely to suffer from both afflictions because high heels thrust their weight forward on the toes and balls of the feet. This causes pinching and pressure, and the formation of these skin irritations as a natural skin reaction to protect itself from irritation. Walking barefoot and exercise, such as running, can also cause corns and calluses.

Corns and calluses are formed in the same fashion but occur in different locations and take different shapes. Calluses typically form on the heel and ball of the foot, but also occur on hands and knees. Corns often appear on the top or sides of toes.


Corns and calluses are comprised of hardened skin, but corns are smaller, rounded and feature a hard center surrounded by inflamed skin. Most calluses do not cause pain. They are wider and often look like dried skin. Corns can become more painful when pressure is applied.


When wearing high heels, wear shoes that provide at least �” extra space in the toe area. Avoid slipping in shoes, which shifts toes forward, with a shoe insert. Minimize perspiration with a foot powder.


At home remedies: Use a pumice stone following a bath or shower to file down the hardened skin. Over the counter medicines for corns and calluses may be used. Use a moisturizer that contains salicylic acid, urea, or ammonium lactate which will soften up the hardened skin. Avoid cutting corns and calluses at home as they can easily become infected.

Physician: Seek medical attention for those corns and calluses that are especially painful.

People suffering from diabetes or poor circulation should be seen by a physician as common foot maladies tend to become problematic for them. In some cases, orthotics may be prescribed to provide relief from the pressure causing the irritation. Your physician may choose to remove the callus or corn with a scalpel. In cases of bone structure issues, the patient may be referred for an x-ray for further diagnosis.