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Corns & Callous

What are corns & callus?

Corns and callus refer to an area/ build up of tough thickened skin. This production of excessive thickness generally occurs on high pressure areas of the feet.


Corns and callous are similar in that they are made up of the same deadened skin (keratin) and form due to localised pressure.


Corns differ to callus in that they form a central core (a cone shape) that pushes into deeper levels of skin. The pain that you may feel is that of walking on a pebble.


Why do I have Corns & Callus?

Almost everyone will have a corn or callous at some point in their life, so you're not alone!


Corns and callous form as your skins own protective mechanism to the underlying tissue, joints or bone. Thos same protective mechanism can become a problem when too much keratin is formed. This may occur when:

  • Pressure placed on the foot becomes out of balance or extra friction falls on particular areas of the foot. This can be seen in people with bunions, hammer toes, feet that are extremely flat or high-arched.
  • Wearing Footwear that is to tight, narrow or high.
  • Ill fitting socks
  • Thin/fragile skin
  • Certain medical conditions
  • Smoking


More on Corns.....

There are actually different types of corns:

  • Hard corns: Are the most common type of corn and appear as a small area of concentrated hard skin up to the size of a small pea usually within a wider area of thickened skin or callus.
  • Soft corns: These develop in a similar way to hard corns but they are whitish and rubbery in texture and appear between toes where the skin is moist from sweat or from inadequate drying.
  • Seed corns: These are tiny corns that tend to occur either singly or in clusters on the bottom of the foot and are usually painless.
  • Neurovascular corns: These corns are generally quite painful and difficult to treat. they incorporate fine nerve endings and minute blood vessels.


Treatment for Corns & Callus:

The most important thing to remember about treating calluses and corns is never to do it yourself without seeing a specialist first. Because calluses are generally symptoms of other problems, it is important to have a podiatrist examine your feet to work out what could be causing the pressure.


Over-the-counter remedies, such as corn paint or plasters, generally only treat the symptoms, not the underlying problem. They can also easily damage the healthy skin surrounding the corn if not used properly. Commercial preparations should only be used following professional advice. In people with poor circulation or with medical conditions such as diabetes, the use of medicated corn plasters can be very dangerous.


Our Podiatrists at Sydney Podiatry Co will gently remove calluses and corns to have you feeling much better in no time. We may also:

  • Recommend regular maintenance to keep you pain-free
  • Check and advise you on the fit of your shoes
  • Give you padding and or deflection materials to use to prevent recurrence
  • Discuss if orthotics are necessary to improve your foot function and reduce pressure/friction