Corns & Calluses

Additional Information

Corns and calluses are thick, hardened layers of skin that develop when your skin tries to protect itself against friction and pressure. They most often develop on the feet and toes.  

Corns and calluses are not the same thing.  

Corns are typicallysmaller than calluses and have a hard core like center. Corns tend to develop on parts of your feet that don't bear weight, such as the tops and sides of your toes and even between your toes. They can also be found in weight-bearing areas. Corns can be painful when pressed.

Calluses are rarely painful. They usually develop on the soles of your feet, especially under the heels or ball of your foot.  Calluses vary in size and shape and are often larger than corns.

If a corn or callus becomes painful or inflamed, see your doctor. If you have diabetes or poor blood flow, DO NOT self-treat- minor injury to your foot can lead to an infected open sore (ulcer) and even lead to an amputation!

How to Prevent Corns

  • Wear shoes that give your toes plenty of room.If you can't wiggle your toes, your shoes are too tight. 
  • Use protective coverings. Wear felt pads, non-medicated corn pads or bandaids over areas that rub against your footwear. You can also try toe separators or some lamb's wool between your toes.


Your doctor may pare down your corn or callus and apply offloading foot pads to the area. Sometimes functional orthotics are needed to help offload painful calluses or corns. Surgery can be warranted if the corn or callus becomes ulcerated.  The goal of surgery is to remove or reduce any boney deformity preventing the ulceration from healing.