Corns and Calluses Treatment

Corns and Calluses Treatment

Available Treatment Options for Corns & Calluses

Expert Solutions: Trusted Treatments for Corns & Calluses Relief

Corns and calluses are common foot conditions that many individuals experience at some point in their lives. While they might seem similar, there are distinct differences between the two. Both conditions arise due to repeated friction or pressure on specific areas of the foot. This article aims to shed light on the differences between corns and calluses, their causes, and the best treatment options available. Whether you’re currently dealing with the discomfort of these conditions or simply want to be informed, this comprehensive Q&A guide is here to help.

At East Gosford Podiatry, we understand the discomfort and pain that corns and calluses can bring. Our team of experienced podiatrists is dedicated to providing the best care and treatment options tailored to each individual’s needs. With our expertise and commitment to patient care, you can trust East Gosford Podiatry to guide you on the path to healthier feet.

What are corns and calluses?


Corns are small, circular, and raised patches of hardened skin that usually develop on the tops and sides of the toes. They can be painful when pressed and often have a central core that points inward. Corns primarily form due to friction from shoes that don’t fit properly or from not wearing socks with shoes. There are two main types of corns: hard corns, which are usually found on the tops of toes or on the outer sides of little toes, and soft corns, which appear between the toes and are kept soft due to moisture from sweat.


Calluses, on the other hand, are larger patches of tough, yellowish skin that can develop anywhere on the foot but are most commonly found on the soles. Unlike corns, calluses are usually not painful and spread out more broadly. They form as a result of repeated pressure on the foot, such as from walking or standing for long periods. Activities that put repeated pressure on the foot, like jogging or wearing high heels, can also contribute to callus formation.

Both corns and calluses are the body’s natural response to protect the skin from pressure and friction. However, if not addressed, they can lead to more severe foot problems, especially in individuals with diabetes or other conditions that affect blood flow to the feet.


How can I differentiate between a corn and a callus?

Distinguishing between a corn and a callus can be crucial for proper treatment. While both are forms of thickened skin resulting from friction and pressure, they have distinct characteristics:

1. Location:

  • Corns: Typically found on non-weight-bearing parts of the foot, such as the tops and sides of the toes.
  • Calluses: Commonly develop on weight-bearing areas, especially the soles of the feet, particularly under the heels or balls.

2. Appearance:

  • Corns: Smaller than calluses, they have a hard centre surrounded by inflamed skin. Corns can be painful when pressed.
  • Calluses: Larger and wider, they usually don’t hurt but might feel rough. They are often yellowish in colour.

3. Shape:

  • Corns: Circular and have a defined edge.
  • Calluses: Irregular in shape and spread out more broadly.

4. Depth:

  • Corns: Tend to be deeper and can be either hard (dry, flaky, or waxy) or soft (mushy, kept soft due to moisture between the toes).
  • Calluses: More superficial and spread out.

5. Cause:

  • Corns: Often caused by friction from shoes pressing against the toes or by the foot sliding inside the shoe.
  • Calluses: Result from direct pressure on the skin, such as walking barefoot or wearing shoes without socks.

If you’re unsure whether you have a corn or a callus, it’s always best to consult our podiatrists at East Gosford Podiatry. They can provide a definitive diagnosis and recommend the most effective treatment options.


How can I prevent corns and calluses from forming?

Prevention is always better than cure. By taking a few simple precautions, you can significantly reduce the risk of developing corns and calluses:

  1. Proper Footwear: Ensure that your shoes fit well. They shouldn’t be too tight or too loose. There should be enough room for your toes to move freely without rubbing against the shoe. If you frequently wear high heels, consider alternating with flat shoes to reduce pressure on the balls of your feet.
  2. Wear Socks: Always wear socks with shoes to reduce friction. Choose socks without seams, as seams can cause additional rubbing. Moisture-wicking socks can also help keep your feet dry, reducing the risk of soft corns.
  3. Foot Hygiene: Keep your feet clean and dry. After washing, dry your feet thoroughly, especially between the toes. This can prevent soft corns from forming.
  4. Moisturise: Regularly moisturising your feet can keep the skin soft and prevent dryness, which can lead to the development of calluses.
  5. Foot Pads: If you’re prone to corns and calluses or have foot deformities, consider using over-the-counter foot pads or cushions. They can help redistribute pressure and reduce friction.
  6. Regular Foot Exams: Regularly inspect your feet for areas of thickened skin, especially if you have diabetes or another condition that affects foot health. Early detection can prevent complications.
  7. Avoid Walking Barefoot: Walking without shoes, especially on rough surfaces, can cause calluses to develop.
  8. See a Podiatrist: If you notice areas of thickened skin or if you’re prone to corns and calluses, consider seeing a podiatrist. They can provide guidance on foot care and recommend specialised products or treatments.

Remember, while corns and calluses are protective mechanisms, they can become problematic if they lead to pain or other complications. Regular foot care and attention to footwear can go a long way in preventing these conditions.

What are the treatment options for corns and calluses?

If you’re experiencing discomfort or pain from corns or calluses, there are several treatment options available:

  1. Over-the-Counter Treatments:
    – Salicylic Acid: Available in the form of patches, gels, or pads, salicylic acid can help soften and exfoliate the thickened skin. However, it’s essential to use it with caution, especially if you have diabetes or poor circulation, as it can harm healthy skin.
    – Pumice Stone or Foot File: These tools can be used to gently file away the thickened skin after soaking your feet in warm water.
  2. Padding and Shoe Inserts: Cushioned pads can protect sensitive areas from further friction. Orthotic inserts can also help redistribute pressure on the foot, reducing the risk of callus formation.
  3. Medicated Pads: Some pads contain medications that can help soften the thickened skin, making it easier to remove.
  4. Moisturisers: Thick creams and lotions can help soften calluses, making them less painful and easier to remove.
  5. Professional Treatments:
    – Trimming: A podiatrist can safely trim away thickened skin using a scalpel. This procedure provides immediate relief from pain.
    – Custom Orthotics: If foot deformities or gait issues are causing corns or calluses, custom-made shoe inserts can help address the underlying problem.
    – Surgery: In rare cases, if a bony prominence is causing repeated friction, surgery might be recommended to correct the bone’s alignment.
  6. Avoidance: If you’ve identified specific shoes or activities that cause corns or calluses, try to avoid them or limit their frequency.

It’s essential to approach corn and callus treatment with caution. Do not attempt to cut or shave them off at home, especially if you have diabetes or poor circulation. Contact our team of Podiatrists if you are unsure of how to treat your corns and calluses.

When should I see a doctor or podiatrist for corns and calluses?

While corns and calluses are often harmless, there are situations where seeking professional advice is crucial:

  1. Persistent Pain: If you experience persistent pain or discomfort despite trying over-the-counter treatments, it’s time to see a podiatrist.
  2. Signs of Infection: Redness, swelling, pus, or warmth around the corn or callus can indicate an infection, which requires immediate medical attention.
  3. Diabetes or Poor Circulation: Individuals with diabetes or poor circulation are at a higher risk of complications from corns and calluses. Even minor foot problems can lead to serious complications in such cases. Regular foot check-ups are essential.
  4. No Improvement: If the corn or callus doesn’t improve or keeps coming back despite treatment, it’s a sign that you need professional intervention.
  5. Uncertainty: If you’re unsure whether you have a corn, callus, wart, or another skin condition, a podiatrist can provide a definitive diagnosis.
  6. Foot Deformities: Bunions, hammertoes, or other foot deformities can increase the risk of corns and calluses. A podiatrist can offer solutions to address the root cause.
  7. Thick and Large Calluses: If the callus is exceptionally thick or large, it’s best to have it evaluated by a professional.

Remember, early intervention can prevent complications and ensure that your feet remain healthy. At East Gosford Podiatry, our team of experienced podiatrists can provide comprehensive podiatry care, from diagnosis to treatment, ensuring that your feet are in the best possible condition.

We Accept Patients from all over the Central Coast

If you are in East Gosford and surrounding suburbs and are in need of a Podiatry appointment due to lower limb or feet issues you may need orthotics. Please contact our clinic on (02) 4325 0600

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(02) 4325 0600