What Are Corns & Callous?

A corn is a small circular thickened lesion in the skin of the foot. It usually forms due to repeated direct pressure on the skin due to bony prominence. A corn is different from a callus in that it has a central core of hard material and usually deeper pressing the end of the nerve.

People with foot deformities, such as hammertoes, often suffer from corns because the tops of the bent toes rub against the tops of shoes.

A callus is a diffused thickened area of skin on the foot caused by nondirect pressure (shearing force). The rubbing causes the skin to produce a layer of protective skin (a callus). Calluses vary in size, and can become painful.


There are a number of treatment options for corns and callous. When corns and callous get hard enough to cause pain, we will recommend the treatment option most appropriate for you. However, if the underlying cause of the corn and callous are not treated or removed, these may return.

It is important to avoid trying to remove corns and callous at home or using medicated corn pads, as serious infection may occur.

Conservative treatments usually include:

  • Debridement of corns and callous.
  • Padding in your shoes to reduce pressure.
  • Orthotics if there are underlying foot deformities causing painful corns and callous.


See here for more information regarding corns