Corn and Callus

Signs & Symptons

A corn is a painful area of hardened skin on the foot. They develop over bony areas of the foot that are under high pressure, usually caused by poorly fitting shoes.
A callus is an area of hardened skin made of keratin - a tough protein that makes up hair and nails but which is also present in the outermost layer of skin (the epidermis).
When skin is exposed to lots of pressure or friction, the keratin layer thickens to protect it, and develops into a callus.
Calluses aren't painful, and can cover a wide area.


Corns are caused by constant pressure on a bony area of the foot. This can happen because of a number of different reasons. Some examples are listed below.

  • Poorly fitting footwear. Shoes that are too small, or that have irregular soles, are the most common cause of corns.
  • Being very active. People who do lots of exercise, such as athletes, put more pressure on their feet, and this can make corns more likely to form.
  • Prominent bones. In some people, prominent bones in your feet can press against your shoes. This can lead to corns.


At a routine podiatry appointment with a podiatrist can remove corns and callus with a scalpel, this is usually a painless experience.
It is also possible for certain products to be used to break down the excess hard skin. In many cases corns and callus can be prevented. Using a good emollient on the foot will help keep your skin supple. Wearing cushioned footwear can also help.
A podiatrist can make Orthotics which can reduce the pressure over problem areas, or correct the way that feet work by controlling their movement in the shoe. This can prevent the formation of callus and corns.
Do not leave your callus and corns unchecked.