Calluses and corns

Calluses and corns

Corns and Calluses Treatment 1 , , , ,

Calluses and corns general information

Calluses and corns are areas of skin that is thickened, hardened or dead. They are formed in order to protect the skin and other structures underneath from pressure, friction or trauma. They may have a yellowish color, even gray or may be less sensitive to touch than surrounding skin; they can look rough (irregular). Calluses on the hands and feet are normal in an active person; they become a problem when they grow enough to be painful.
Calluses usually form on the hands and feet, although they can appear anywhere there is pressure on the skin, such as the elbows or knees.
Calluses on the hands usually develop on the fingers. They are usually painless and can be useful. For example, a carpenter can develop calluses that protect his hands from abrasion or cuts while working. A tennis player might develop calluses on his hands to protect him from pressure or from rubbing the tennis racket handle.
Calluses on the feet are formed on the sole, heel and under the thumb. Other frequently met forms are on the big toe (which is protecting the distal end of metatarsal bone).
Corns are usually found where toes rub together. Corns have an inner part which can be hard or soft. A soft corn is usually found between the toes (usually between fingers 4 and 5), a hard corn is often found above the finger 5.

Article Contents:

  • Calluses and corns general information
  • Calluses and corns causes
  • Calluses and corns symptoms
  • Investigation
  • Calluses and corns treatment
  • Calluses and corns Complications
  • Prophylaxis

Calluses and corns Causes

Calluses and corns are caused by repeated pressure and friction on the skin over a period of time. Pressure causes formation of hard protective surfaces on the skin, or even death of the skin. A soft corn is formed in the same way, but it’s softened by sweat. This phenomenon occurs especially between the toes. Calluses and corns are not caused by a virus and are not contagious.

Calluses and corns Causes

Calluses and corns Causes

Regularly and frequently handling of an object that puts pressure on the hand, such as tools (gardening or carpentry for example) or sports equipment (tennis racket for example) typically determines the occurrence over time of calluses on your hands.
Calluses and corns on the feet are usually caused by pressure from shoes: tight shoes put pressure on the sides of the foot, while shoes with high heels put pressure on the front side of the foot.
Loose shoes cause foot slipping and rubbing against the shoe.
Shoes with too thin soles create increased pressure on the sole, unlike shoes with thicker soles. Wearing sandals and shoes without socks can lead to increased friction. The foot may rub against a seam or reinforcement inside the shoe. Socks that do not fit can create increased pressure where the sock is too loose.
Walking barefoot also creates calluses.
Calluses and corns often develop on the deformities caused by rheumatoid arthritis, frames, two pointing fingers or toes too claw. Calluses and corns on the feet can be caused by repeated pressure due to sports (such as the leg callus from the athlete’s foot), an abnormal gait, abnormal bone structure such as flat feet or Bone spurs (small, bony growths that form in the joint region).

Calluses and corns Symptoms

Symptoms include pain when walking and difficulty in wearing certain shoes. Pressing and squeezing calluses and corns can also cause pain.
You can identify if it is a callus or a corn by analyzing the skin. A callus is dry, hardened and with a yellowish or gray aspect. It may be less sensitive to touch than surrounding skin and may look rough (irregular).

Calluses and corns Symptoms

Calluses and corns Symptoms

A hard corn is also firm and hardened; it may present a soft yellow ring with a gray center. A soft corn looks like an open wound.
A callus or corn can sometimes be mistaken for a wart. Warts are generally soft and painful when applying pressure on the sides, while calluses and corns are painful when applying direct pressure.
Other clinical conditions that may resemble calluses and corns include:
– An object in the skin like a splinter under the skin
– Metatarsal synovitis (inflammation of the joint capsule from the distal end of the metatarsus bone)
– A neuroma (Morton neuroma): a nerve cell growth
– Areas of congenital (inherited) hardened skin.


Calluses and corns are usually diagnosed by physical examination. Calluses and corns investigationIf they are located on the legs, the patient will be asked to remove his shoes and socks, and then the feet will be examined. If they have a different location, such as the knees or elbows, the specialist will also examine these areas. Your doctor may ask questions about work, about hobbies and what type of shoes the patient wears.
If the specialist thinks there is a problem with the leg bones, he may ask for an x-ray of the foot.
If calluses and corns are located on a close-to-the-bone surface or on a non-obvious pressure point, the specialist can look at another cause, such as skin cancer or a genetic cause.
If the patient has diabetes, peripheral arterial disease, peripheral neuropathy or other conditions that can cause circulatory problems or numbness, he should communicate these to the specialist. These diseases can alter the treatment plan.
Calluses and corns don’t necessarily need treatment, but they can cause pain. Pain treatment usually consists of removing the cause of pressure or friction and allowing a healing time. Initial treatment generally involves home treatment. This includes carefully choosing the footwear, use of pumice stone and use of salicylic acid.
If the patient has diabetes, peripheral arterial disease, peripheral neuropathy or other conditions that cause circulatory problems or numbness, he must consult a specialist before initiating any treatment.

Calluses and corns Treatment

Depending on the location of the callus or weft, whether there is a case of diabetes, peripheral arterial disease or other conditions that cause circulatory problems or numbness, treatment options include:
– consulting a specialist for reducing callus or weft: specialist can do this in his office using a small knife.

Calluses and corns Treatment

Calluses and corns Treatment

– Reducing the size of callus by soaking the feet in warm water, then using pumice stone to gently remove the dead skin: do not cut corns or calluses using scissors, especially if you suffer from diabetes, peripheral arterial disease or other conditions that cause circulatory problems or numbness
– wearing wider shoes that fit well: this will prevent pressure on your toes
– Use a felt padding and orthopedic inserts in order to keep the feet and toes in a more comfortable position and in order to prevent friction: a specialist can help you decide what padding to use and in which position
– Use of salicylic acid to soften the callus, which can be removed later using pumice.
Some specialists don’t recommend using salicylic acid because it can affect the surrounding skin. If salicylic acid is used, it should only be applied on the surface of callus.

Operations are rarely used as a treatment for calluses and corns. However, if there is an underlying bone structure, such as two mounted fingers which are causing the callus or weft, surgery can be used to modify or remove that particular bone structure.
Surgery can be used only if other treatments have failed. If the treatment has not worked on the soft corns, the skin between the two fingers can be sewn together. This creates a kind of partial tissue where the soft corn used to be. On this spot, another corn can never form again.

Calluses and corns Complications

Untreated calluses and corns can cause pain when walking or wearing certain shoes; they can cause changes in posture while trying to avoid pain, inflammation of the structure between the bone and skin (bursitis), the appearance of vesicles (blisters), bone infection (osteomyelitis), bacterial infection of the joint (septic arthritis) or skin ulceration.

Calluses and corns Complications

Calluses and corns Complications

If the patient has diabetes, the risk of leg skin ulcers increases. In a study that included more than 200 feet ulcers due to diabetes, patients who were treated for calluses had fewer foot ulcers, fewer doctor visits and fewer surgical treatments of ulcers.
Pumice should be used carefully when removing or reducing the size of a callus or corn. If you remove too much skin and go too deep, it can lead to bleeding and infection.
Some insoles contain drugs included in the fabric. This type of insole is better to be avoided because it softens the skin too much and can cause infection. If the callus or corn produces too much pain and persists for a long period of time, you should consult an orthopedist.


Calluses and corns can be prevented by reducing or eliminating the cause of pressure on the skin:
– wear adequate shoes;
– wear appropriate socks: loose socks can be piled in the shoe, creating pressure
– use gloves while working with different tools
– if other parts of the body are exposed to friction, use materials that can reduce the friction: for example, if you spend a lot of time on your knees, wear kneepads.

Preventively against calluses and corns

Corns and Calluses Treatment Leave a comment   , , , , ,

Preventively against calluses and corns

Although it may be taken as a general rule, the adage “Better to prevent than to cure!‘ fits like a glove in these very common conditions which can affect all of us: calluses and corns.
Calluses and corns are clusters of dead skin cells, thickened and hardened. This is a natural defense reaction of the body in order to protect itself from the constant pressure exerted on the skin, friction etc.
Even though in a pathological sense of the words there are no differences between the two terminologies, calluses are actually a more advanced form of corns. Although most cases of calluses are located on the foot (sole, heel, toes), depending on the type of physical activity performed, corns can occur on the hands or knees too. Corns and calluses can affect anyone, without exception!

Article Contents

  • Preventively against calluses and corns
  • Calluses and corns causes
  • Calluses and corns treatment
  • Calluses and corns complications
  • Prophylactic


Calluses and corns causes

The only way in which these conditions can occur is by applying repeated pressure and/or friction on the skin surface.

Calluses and corns causes

Calluses and corns causes

The most common causes for the appearance of corns and calluses are:
– Improper footwear (narrow shoes that squeeze the feet);
– Conformation (close fingers or flat feet);
– The existence of a prominent bone (and mounts);
– Impairments involving high pressure on some parts of the body (an abnormal gait);
– Handling of objects without protection (tennis racket, rake, broom, etc..)
– Walking barefoot.

Calluses and corns treatment

Although the accumulation of dead skin is unpleasant to the sight and touch, corns and calluses do not require treatment unless they cause pain. Thus, the first step in curing the condition is removing the object or avoiding the activities that caused the friction and pressure on the affected areas in the first place. After this period of “sparing” you can proceed to removing the dead skin formations. The most simple and convenient ways are the use of salicylic acid (on the corn only, it mustn’t touch the healthy skin) and of pumice – after you soak the skin in warm water for 15 minutes.
Surgery is not common solution to treat corns and calluses. However, if the harmful pressure on the skin is the result of a protruding bone, surgery to correct the malformation may occur.
Be careful; do not turn yourself into your own surgeon! In order to the avoid risk of complications or infections of the skin, do not try to remove calluses using sharp objects (razors, scissors or knives).

Calluses and corns complications

Besides the pain when walking and / or wearing shoes, calluses and corns, if untreated, can grow into other inflammatory conditions: vesicles (blisters), infections of the bone structure and of the skin, or ulcers (common in diabetics). Although calluses may apparently seem very common, a visit to the doctor’s is a must because some preexisting conditions may determine changes in the clinical treatment.
Therefore, if you have diabetes or circulatory problems, you should not be removing the dead skin areas yourselves.
A medical consultation is indicated if the dead skin formation is identified on surfaces or areas on which there is no pressure or friction applied. The reason for this is that you could be facing genetic problems (congenital hardened areas of skin) or a malignant tumor – skin cancer.


Trust us, prevention is the best solution! And when “prevention” means a real minimum of effort, so mush discomfort and pain really seems not worth it! So, here are a few ways to avoid the discomfort caused by the appearance of calluses and corns:
– Wear comfortable shoes only, shoes that suit perfectly the length and width of the foot; adjust the shoes using padding;
– Choose the right socks! A sock too small can cause friction, while a too big one can get cluttered inside the shoe and apply pressure;
– If you need to use tools that exert pressure on the hands, use gloves;
– Use the pumice regularly! However, do not overdo it, especially if you are used to walking barefoot! If the sole skin is too thin it can easily be hurt (the heel skin also);
– Make the use of creams and emollients your hygiene routine for the feet and hands, in order to maintain an optimal level of hydration.