Corns and calluses are thick and hardened layers of skin that develop as part of the body’s protective response to continuing pressure and friction. While they can form anywhere on the body, they most often develop on the hands or feet.
Typically seen on the feet, corns, and calluses can be distinguished from each other in several ways. Calluses are rough, hard patches of skin that appear slightly yellowish and are usually seen on the ball of your foot or on the heel. Varying in size and shape and lacking well-defined edges, they are not usually painful. Corns, on the other hand, are commonly found on non-weight bearing areas of the feet such as on the tops and sides of the toes and between the toes. Small cone-shaped bumps of skin with a core that points inward, corns can be painful.
Foot corns and calluses often develop as a direct result of pressure due to:
- Footwear that is tight or ill-fitting as well as high heels, bunched up socks or going shoeless
- Athletic activities that put a lot of pressure on the feet or a lot of walking and running
- Toe deformities that expose an area to increased pressure
- Bony prominences
- Incorrect foot alignment and gait abnormalities
It is always a good idea to consult with our podiatrists about any unusual bumps or lesions on your feet. This is especially important if you are having pain and discomfort that is interfering with your daily activities or if you have diabetes, poor circulation or other serious medical conditions.
Our podiatrists can safely pare down or trim corns and calluses as well as prescribe the appropriate medicated patches and instruct you in the right methods of home care. In some cases, besides well-fitting footwear or specially designed padding, custom-made orthotics may also be prescribed to prevent further irritation and recurrence of the corns and calluses. A cortisone injection can be given in situations where persistent pain is present. If conservative treatments are not effective, other procedures may be recommended.