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Corns and Calluses – Everything You Need to Know

Corns and Calluses

Both corns and calluses are commonly confused with one another. They are similar in that they can both be irritating, and they are both ways of your body protecting your skin. Here, we look at the differences between corns and calluses and find out more about each ailment.


A corn usually forms at a pressure point, such as the side of a toe or the bottom of a foot, and it can cause pain. There are several types of corn:

Hard Corn – A small area of dead skin, usually quite thick, containing a hard centre. They are likely to be on top of toes or the outside of little toes.

Soft Corn – A small, tender, red patch of thin skin with a soft core usually forms between toes.

Seed Corn – A very small and tender callus, usually on the bottom of a foot (heel or ball).

Ill-fitting or uncomfortable shoes and bad walking habits are the leading causes of corns.


Calluses are not usually painful. They are thick areas of skin that form on feet, hands, or other areas of frequent friction. There are two types of calluses. These are:

Common Callus – Often forms due to repeated friction on the feet or hands.

Plantar Callus – Often forms underneath the foot.

The cause of calluses is rubbing of the same spot frequently, often from ill-fitting shoes and bad walking habits.

Treatment and Prevention

You can do a few things to treat and prevent corns and calluses at home and ease the discomfort. This includes:

  • Using insoles
  • Wearing thick, comfortable socks
  • Wearing shoes that fit comfortably with a small or no heel
  • Use heel pads
  • Soak your feet in warm water
  • Moisturise your feet
  • Use a pumice stone
  • Avoid putting unnecessary pressure on corns and calluses
  • Do not attempt to remove a corn or callus yourself
  • Calluses can develop on the hands, so wear gloves to protect your hands when doing manual work.

Corns and calluses that are more troublesome may need to be surgically removed.

Consult your GP or a podiatry specialist, such as Louisa Seymour Podiatry, if you encounter any of the following:

  • You have a corn or callus that is bleeding or cut
  • The corn or callus is showing signs of inflammation or infection (pus or discharge)
  • You have a corn or callus and also have heart disease or diabetes

To find out about the podiatry solutions we offer at Louisa Seymour Podiatry, contact us on 01277 266870.

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