Corns And Calluses: Understanding Symptoms, Causes And Treatment Options For These Foot Conditions

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Corns And Calluses: Understanding Symptoms, Causes And Treatment Options For These Foot Conditions

Corns and Calluses: Understanding symptoms, causes and treatment options for these foot conditions

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As we navigate through life, our feet bear the weight of our journeys, carrying us to various destinations and experiences. But sometimes, our faithful companions become afflicted by the formation of corns and calluses. These seemingly innocuous skin conditions can cause discomfort and affect our overall wellness. 

Differentiating Corns and Calluses

Corns are small, hardened areas of skin that form on the top or sides of the toes, often causing pain or tenderness. In contrast, calluses are more substantial in size and commonly form on the bottoms of the feet, specifically beneath the heels or balls of the feet. They develop due to repeated pressure or friction applied to the skin.Corns are usually small, hard, and round, while calluses are larger and flatter. Although both conditions share similar characteristics, such as thickened skin, it is essential to understand their nuances for proper diagnosis and treatment.


Usually corns and calluses are diagnosed by their appearance. Diagnosing corns and calluses requires keen observation and understanding. A doctor may also examine the area to rule out other conditions, such as plantar warts or infections.


Corns and calluses are often the result of repeated pressure or friction on the skin. This can be caused by wearing shoes that are too tight or by activities that put pressure on the skin, such as walking or standing for long periods of time.

Additionally, certain foot deformities, like bunions or hammertoes, can contribute to the formation of corns and calluses. 

As we grow older, our skin gradually becomes thinner, resulting in a decrease in fatty tissue. Consequently, the soles of our feet have less padding, increasing the likelihood of developing corns and calluses.

Symptoms of Corns and Calluses

Corns often manifest as small, raised bumps with a hard centre and can be painful to touch. They may usually cause discomfort while walking or wearing shoes. Calluses, on the other hand, typically appear as rough, thickened patches of skin and may not be as painful as corns. However, they can still cause discomfort or a burning sensation, especially when pressure is applied.

Treatment Options

Unless corns and calluses are causing discomfort or aesthetic concerns, treatment is generally unnecessary for individuals in good health. In the majority of cases, eliminating the source of friction or pressure is sufficient to make corns and calluses vanish. Here are some approaches that can bring relief to your weary feet:

  • Wearing proper footwear - Choosing shoes that provide adequate support and have a proper fit can significantly reduce the risk of corns and calluses. Wear shoes with a wide toe box and cushioned soles to minimise pressure on vulnerable areas of the feet.
  • Padding and inserts - Placement of pads or inserts at strategic places can help distribute pressure evenly and reduce friction thereby providing relief from corns and calluses. 
  • Pumice stone - To effectively treat foot calluses and corns, a recommended starting point is utilising a pumice stone. By gently and gradually rubbing the affected areas of hardened skin with the pumice stone, you can eliminate foot lumps. It is advisable to soak the foot in water for approximately 15-20 minutes beforehand to soften the skin, enhancing the effectiveness of the treatment.
  • Salicylic acid - Various over-the-counter salicylic acid treatments that are available can help soften and remove corns and calluses. 
  • Moisturisers - Moisturising your feet regularly can help keep the skin soft and supple, reducing the likelihood of corns and calluses. You should choose a moisturiser specifically formulated for foot care and apply it after washing and drying the feet.
  • Professional intervention - In cases where home remedies do not provide relief, consulting a healthcare professional is essential. They may recommend treatments such as debridement or custom orthotics to address the underlying causes.

When to see a doctor?

It is advisable to consult a healthcare provider if a corn or callus becomes excessively painful or inflamed. For individuals with diabetes or poor blood circulation, seeking medical attention prior to self-treatment is crucial. This precaution is important as even a minor foot injury can potentially result in an infected open sore (ulcer).


Corns and calluses are common foot conditions that often go unnoticed. However, by understanding their diagnosis, causes, symptoms, and treatment options, we can take better care of our feet and promote our overall wellness. Remember, your feet are your steadfast companions, and they deserve the utmost care and attention. So, let's embark on the journey of foot health, one step at a time.

Disclaimer: The above content is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for the advice of a qualified physician or doctor. The Company does not vouch for or endorse any of the above content, and disclaims any and all warranties, express or implied, relating to the same.