Corns and Calluses: What's the Difference and How Can You Treat Them?

Our feet are our main mode of transportation and it bares our body weight whether we are walking or standing. This pressure is first taken on the heel followed by the ball of the foot - which is where you will notice the skin is thicker to withstand the pressure.

What happens when we have pressure imbalances mixed with friction? This is where our body’s protective response is to thicken the skin in this area which can result in corns and calluses.

What is a Callus?

A callus is an extended area of thickened skin resulting from excessive pressure on our feet. Calluses will normally develop on the soles of the feet, especially under the balls of the feet or heels. Calluses are often symptoms of an underlying issue which can range from foot mechanics to footwear or a bony deformity.

What is a Corn?

Corns can develop due to the pressure or friction becoming concentrated in a small area. Corns have a central core which can result in pain if it ends up placing pressure on a nerve. There are many different types of corns such as Seed Corns, Fibrous Corns, and Vascular Corns. However, the most common corns are Hard Corns and Soft Corns.

If the pressure becomes concentrated in a very small area, it may result in a development of a Hard Corn. The concentrated hard skin can be up to a size of small pea and is often accompanied by a wider area of callus or thickened skin.

Soft Corns are found in between the toes where there is often moisture and inadequate drying. The combination of moisture from sweat, and the friction, often from rubbing, can result in white and rubbery corns.

What are the Treatment options for Corns and Calluses?

IMPORTANT: It is highly recommended that you consult a Podiatrist before using any commercially available products. In particular, please be careful with corn pads / corn plasters as some contain acid that can burn the healthy skin around the skin resulting in other problems such as an infection.

Calluses - A Podiatrist will be able to remove the hard skin. The Podiatrist will examine your feet to devise an effective treatment plan which also addresses the root cause of the problem.

Corns - During your visit, the Podiatrist will able to remove your corn with sharp debridement in a typically painless procedure. Again, the Podiatrist will examine your feet to identify the reason to put in place an effective treatment plan to prevent recurrence.

Consulting a Podiatrist

At ProPodiatry Clinic we assess every patient with a holistic approach. Whilst we work to resolve the issue at hand, we also identify the underlying issue contributing to the injury or pain and formulate treatment plans suited to your needs.

Srinath Vanapalli