Calluses and Corns – What are They, Symptoms, Causes and Prevention

If you think that you’ve got a callus or corn, but are not sure, a little research can help you in determining whether it’s a callus or corn and then you can visit your doctor to start a treatment.

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What are Calluses and Corns?

These are thickened and hardened layers of skin that arise when your skin tries to safeguard itself against pressure and friction.

They typically develop on the feet and toes or also on hands and fingers. They tend to be unsightly.

Individuals who are otherwise healthy need treatment for calluses and corns only if they are painful. In most cases, just removing the cause of pressure or friction makes calluses and corns vanish.

People with diabetes or any other condition that leads to poor blood circulation in feet are at a greater risk of complications arising from calluses and corns.

They need to see an expert doctor like a podiatrist in Sydney like ModPod Podiatry for an advice on appropriate care for calluses and corns.


If you want to be sure if you have a callus or corn, you should know their symptoms. Here they are:

  • A thickened, rough patch on skin
  • A raised, hardened bump
  • Flaky, waxy or dry skin
  • Pain or tenderness under skin

However, remember that calluses and corns are not the same.

Calluses are bigger than corns and are rarely painful. They typically arise on your feet’s soles, particularly under the balls or heels, on your knees or on palms.

Corns are smaller and have a hard centre around which there is inflamed skin. They tend to arise on parts of your feet that don’t have to bear weight, e.g. tops and sides of toes or between toes.

But they can develop into weight-bearing areas too. When pressed, corns can ache.

When Should You Visit a Doctor?

If your callus or corn starts paining a lot or becomes inflamed, you should see your doctor. Never treat a callus or corn on your own, if you have a condition like diabetes or hampered blood flow.


The main causes of development and growth of calluses and corns are friction and pressure from repetitive actions. Sources of friction and pressure include:

Ill-fitting Shoes

High heels and tight shoes can cause pressure and friction on your feet. On the other hand, loose-fitting shoes too may cause friction because your feet may slide in them and rub against the shoe.

Friction may also be caused when your foot rubs against a stitch or seam inside the shoe.

Avoiding Socks

Wearing footwear without socks can create friction on your feet. But if you wear socks, you should make sure they are fitting properly because ill-fitting socks too can cause a problem.

Instruments and Hand Tools

Calluses on hands can be formed due to repeated pressure of using hand tools, playing instruments or even due to writing.

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The following approaches may be helpful in preventing calluses and corns.

Shoes with Ample Room for Toes

If your toes are not moving freely inside your shoes, it means that the shoes are too tight. Choose a shoe that allows free movement for your toes.

Protective Barriers

Use barriers like bandages, felt pads and non-medicated corn pads that will cut the contact of the areas of your foot from the areas of footwear where they are rubbing.

Padded Gloves

While using a hand tool, you can try padded gloves. Alternatively, you can pad your tool handles with covers or cloth pads.

You can get excellent treatment for your callus or corn or nail fungus treatment at ModPod Podiatry; so, you don’t have to worry. You should just know when to visit the doctor.

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