How to Treat Corns and Calluses


Corns and calluses are thick layers of hard skin that form when the skin is repeatedly damaged, usually due to friction and pressure with shoes. The easiest way to remove them is to change your footwear, and then in time they will go away, so long as you are healthy and fit. Older people, and people who lead unhealthy lives (poor diet, lack of exercise, not enough sleep) find it harder to illuminate them naturally.

People that suffer from diabetes or any condition that reduces the blood circulation to the feet are at increased risk of developing complications from corns and calluses. You should seek professional medical advice if you have such conditions.

What are the Symptoms of Corns and Calluses?

  • The skin thickens, becomes rough and often reddens
  • A hard bump under the skin forms, which is often painful
  • Tenderness or pain under your skin
  • The skins dries, becomes flaky, or sometimes waxy

What is the Difference Between a Corn and a Calluse?


  • Smaller than calluses
  • Hard in the middle and surrounded by inflamed skin
  • Can develop anywhere on the feet, even between toes
  • Painful when pressed


  • Develop on the soles of the feet
  • Usually form under the heels or balls of the feet
  • Can appear on palms or knees.
  • Not painful in most cases
  • Generally larger than corns, but can vary in size

Treatment for Corns and Calluses

In most cases simply changing your footwear will reduce the development of corns and calluses. Also, many people develop them as a result of not wearing socks – the rubbing of the feet against sandals or shoes is a common cause. Women are often more likely to develop them.

For men a common problem is in he hands, and this is caused by regular use of power tools. The best advice is to wear gloves when working.


If changing your footwear does not help, then you can try several treatments, all of which should be administered by a doctor:

  • Trimming. A doctor can remove some of the thickened skin or trim a large corn with a scalpel
  • Salicylic acid. A patch that contains 40 percent salicylic acid (Curad Mediplast, Dr. Scholl’s Corn Removers, others) can be applied.
  • Antibiotic medication. This is just to reduce the risk of infection that can occur in severe cases.
  • Shoe inserts. Custom made shoes or shoe inserts can help when the problem is caused by an underlying foot deformity.
  • Surgery. In extreme cases a doctor may suggest surgery to correct the alignment of a bone that is the cause the condition.

Treatments that you can administer yourself include:

  • Shoes: Wearing shoes that provide your feet with plenty of space to move, and give your toes room, can help reduce friction problems.
  • Gloves: If you use power tools a lot or do a lot of manual work, gardening etc. then wear gloves.
  • Protective Pads: If your shoes are always a problem, then wear protective pads on the problem areas.
  • Hand and Foot Care: Soaking your hands and feet and using moisturiser can help the symptoms and reduce the condition.

Corns and calluses can generally be avoided by following this advice. If you take action as soon as signs first appear then it is usually much easier to cure the problem without medical aid.


About Medimise

JP studied Health Sciences with the Open University between 2008 and 2011 and attained a Certificate in Health Sciences. Focus areas included T2 diabetes, trauma and repair, pain management, alcoholism, COPD, and cancer diagnosis and treatment. JP has been working as lead editor of several health publications since 2006 and works full time in the health industry.

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