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Corns and Calluses

When friction or pressure is repeatedly applied to one area of your feet or toes, the skin may respond by developing a corn or callus. They're unsightly, but usually not serious, and in most cases, if you remove the source of friction (like ill-fitting shoes), the corn or callus will disappear.

However, if you are diabetic, or have another condition that affects the circulation in your feet, corns and calluses should be monitored or treated by your podiatrist to prevent a more serious condition.

Corns and calluses are often lumped together, but they're not the same.

Calluses are a thickening of skin which usually appears on the heels or balls of your feet, the areas which receive the most friction from your footwear. Calluses are rarely painful.

Corns are smaller than calluses and are differentiated by their hard center surrounded by inflamed skin. They tend to develop on the non-load bearing areas like the tops of your toes and sometimes in between them. They can be quite painful and frequently accompany hammertoes.

Symptoms of corns and calluses

  • hard, raised bump or thick rough patch of skin
  • tenderness
  • flaky, dry, waxy patch of skin

Treatment for corns and calluses

Your podiatrist at PA Foot and Ankle Associates may recommend one or more of these treatments to manage your corns and calluses:

  • Change footwear to reduce friction on affected area
  • Trim callus to reduce thickness (only to be done by a podiatrist)
  • Over the counter moleskin pads to cushion corn
  • Over the counter Salicylic acid patch (not recommended for diabetics)
  • In-shoe orthotics to shift weight off affected area of foot
  • Oral antibiotics if corn is infected
  • Moisturizing cream for calluses