Corns and Callus

Corns and Callus Overview

Corns and calluses are hardened layers of skin that form as a result of friction or pressure, typically against shoes.

Difference Between Corns and Callus

Corns are usually smaller in size than calluses. They tend to form at the top of your toes due to friction against footwear. They can be painful when pressed.

Calluses normally form at the sole of your foot, particularly around the heel and the balls of your feet. They normally aren’t painful to the touch.

Corns and Callus Treatment

Wearing shoes with a large toe box area can help reduce the risk of developing corns. It’s important to regularly clean the build up of dry skin by soaking your feet in warm water for 10 minutes and filing with a pumice stone.

If you are diabetic take extra care when filling and ensure that you check for cuts and blisters to avoid the risk of an infection. You may prefer to have regular treatment with a podiatric specialist.

If you find that the corns and calluses still persist then you can arrange an appointment with a specialist who can assist with treatment, which may include:

Debridement

The corn and / or callus will be carefully removed by a podiatrist with the use of a scalpel. Moisturiser may be used to soften the area.

Orthotics

Your specialist may recommend custom orthotics to reduce the friction between footwear and your feet. If you have additional issues, such as bunions and hammertoes, these can cause formation of corns and calluses, orthotics can help by redistributing the weight and supporting the toes affected by bunions and hammertoes.

Do Corns and Calluses Go Away?

Most corn and callus do go away over time if you remove the friction or pressure that is causing them. However, if you are not sure of the cause, or you are diabetic or the corns and callus are very painful, you should seek a specialist opinion.

How do you get rid of Corns and Calluses Permanently?

Once resolved, corns and callus can be prevented by accurate identification and avoidance of the friction or pressure that is causing it.

What Happens if a Corn is Left Untreated?

Corns can lead to more serious issues if left untreated, including:

  • Septic Arthritis or Osteomyelitis – a corn infection can travel to the bloodstream, which would require antibiotics.
  • Bursitis – a fluid filled sac can develop beneath the skin, which may require treatment with antibiotics, drain the area or inject a steroid.
  • Pain – you may unintentionally change your posture to avoid pain, which can cause painful symptoms in the feet, knees, hips and back.

Can a Corn be Surgically Removed?

The short answer is Yes. If you have a persistent corn then your specialist may recommend surgical removal.