Symptoms & Treatment for Corns and Calluses

corns and calluses

Corns and Calluses

Corns and calluses are thickened, hardened, collected dead skin cells that develop as a result of frequent rubbing, friction, or pressure. They can appear anywhere on the body, but the hands, toes, heels, and soles of the feet are the most prevalent locations.

Both are caused by hyperkeratinization, or the thickening of the stratum corneum, the top layer of skin. If your shoe scrapes against the same location on your foot repeatedly, for example, irritation and the progressive building of scar tissue can result in the formation of a corn or callus. While many individuals mistake corns and calluses for one another, they are unique in look, aetiology, and sensitivity.

  • Corns

Corns are tiny, defined patches of thickened skin that commonly develop on bony portions of the foot, such as the toe joints. They are more frequent in those who have thin, hairless and smooth skin. Corns are distinguished from calluses by having a hardcore surrounding by irritated skin. They're frequently mistaken for warts because of their well-defined form.

Corn comes in two varieties: soft corn and hard corn. In reaction to aberrant friction, soft corns form on the moist skin between the toes such as walking in tight, pointed-toe shoes. They have a rubbery, flexible feel and are white in appearance. Dry, flat patches of skin, particularly bony sections of the foot that are severely squeezed in shoes, form hard corns.

  • Calluses

Calluses are thicker skin regions that are less distinct. Friction or pressure applied over a long period of time causes them to grow bigger than corns and are rarely uncomfortable. Years of writing with a pencil, for example, might result in the development of a callus on the writing hand's middle finger.


Calluses can be caused by a variety of actions that are repeated over and over again, such as:

  • Wood chopping
  • Work on the construction site
  • Sporting activities involving equipment with a handle (such as tennis or golf)
  • Climbing on the rocks
  • Rowing
  • plucking the strings of a guitar
  • Taking a walk barefoot
  • High-heeled shoes
  • Weightlifting

Home remedies and a healthy lifestyle

The majority of corns and calluses don't need medical attention and maybe treated at home using over-the-counter medications.

To safely cure a callus or corn, follow these steps:

  • Remove the irritation's cause. This change may need the wearing of new shoes or the replacement of any that are excessively tight or loose. This is especially true as your feet get older and the arches and skin thickness begin to alter. To compensate for any irregularities in the anatomy of your foot, orthopaedic shoes or orthotic insoles may be required in some situations. A podiatrist can also aid you with a foot analysis.
  • Soak your foot or hand in warm water for a few minutes. A 20-minute bath can help soften the skin.
  • Using a pumice stone, abrade the skin. Removing some surface skin must be done carefully, and it should be done on bigger regions of thick skin. This job is made considerably easier by pre-soaking your skin. To seal in the moisture and keep the skin supple, use an extra-thick, emollient-rich lotion or cream afterwards.
  • The callus or corn should be padded. Padding around the damaged region of the skin is the greatest technique to cope with discomfort and encourage healing. 
  • Take care of your skin by moisturising it. To keep your skin supple, apply moisturizer to your hands and feet.
  • Socks and comfy shoes are recommended. Until your corn or callus goes away, wear well-fitting, cushioned shoes and socks.
  • Epsom salts can help soften calluses in anticipation for further treatments like a pumice stone or foot file exfoliation. Try bathing the afflicted skin in a warm bath or basin with a handful of Epsom salts for 10 to 15 minutes.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Your doctor will check your feet and rule out warts and cysts as possible reasons for thicker skin. If a physical anomaly is producing the corn or callus, he or she may request an X-ray. 

Corns and calluses are generally treated by avoiding the recurrent acts that caused them to form. Wearing correctly fitted shoes, utilising protective pads, and adopting other self-care steps will help you address problems.

  • Medical therapies can help if a corn or callus persists or becomes uncomfortable despite your best attempts at self-care: Excess skin is removed. During an office visit, your doctor can use a scalpel to remove thicker skin or trim huge corn. Do not do this at home since it may result in infection.
  • Medication for eliminating calluses. A patch containing more than 40% salicylic acid may also be applied by your doctor. These patches may be purchased without a prescription. Your doctor will tell you how often this patch has to be replaced. He or she may advise you to smooth away dead skin with a pumice stone, nail file, or emery board before putting a fresh patch. Salicylic acid in gel form can also be obtained on prescription for use on bigger regions.
  • Inserts for shoes. Your doctor may prescribe custom-made cushioned shoe inserts (orthotics) to prevent reoccurring corns or calluses if you have an underlying foot abnormality.
  • Surgery: Your doctor may propose surgery to fix the position of a bone that is creating friction in rare cases.

Take Away

Corns and calluses are thickened, hardened, collected dead skin cells that develop as a result of frequent rubbing, friction, or pressure. They can appear anywhere on the body, but the hands, toes, heels, and soles of the feet are the most prevalent locations.

Most corns and calluses don't need to be treated by a doctor and maybe treated at home using over-the-counter medicines. However, if corn gets uncomfortable or bleeds, it should be examined by a podiatrist.