Corns, Callus and
Treatment Options


There are four main types of corns/lesions encountered by podiatrists. These include hard, soft, seed and neurovascular lesions.

Corny and callus lesions are both simply an excessive accumulation of dead skin. They generally occur on parts of the skin subjected to excessive pressure or irritation. Consequently, they may be seen with poor fitting footwear (narrow or tight shoes).

Callosities may also be seen between toes and on the top of toes, especially when hammer toe deformities exist. Callus can also form beneath the soles of the feet as a result of poor alignment of the bones of the feet.


The primary cause is generally excessive pressure/or irritation.

Podiatrists realise that this pressure may be the result of:

  • Ill fitting shoes &/or

  • Incorrect foot alignment during walking


    Podiatrists will treat these in two ways.

    Firstly, the corn/callus is removed. Corn removal is very simple and painless.

    Secondly, the podiatrist will determine the cause of the corn or callus and then offer advice on preventing recurrence of the foot problem.

    WARNING: Corn pads, solutions, plasters or paints containing acid can be dangerous especially if you suffer with diabetes or circulation disorders. For this reason corn removal pads or paints are not recommended.

    Following removal of the corn, the podiatrist may determine the cause of the lesion to be ill-fitting footwear. Footwear modifications may be needed and advised. This may be in the form of:

  • Increased cushioning

  • Shoe stretching

  • Changing footwear

    Corns/calluses should be removed professionally by a podiatrist.

    (NB: never attempt "at home" surgery as cutting deeply or gouging at the centre of a corn can damage healthy tissue, nerves and/or blood vessels. The end result may be infection or scarring).

    If the podiatrist determines the cause to be improper balance during walking or standing then the method of prevention may involve:

  • Custom made shoe inserts (orthoses)

  • Padded insoles

  • Manipulation/mobilisation

  • Custom-made footwear

    Corns and calluses are treated very successfully and can resolve, if you address both the SYMPTOM (the corn) and the CAUSE (the pressure/irritation).

    WARNING : This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace professional podiatric advice. Treatment will vary between individuals depending upon your diagnosis and presenting complaint. An accurate diagnosis can only be made following personal consultation with a Podiatrist, your Doctor or your foot specialist.

    For more information on aching feet and many other foot pain, leg pain and back pain conditions please visit our Foot Pain Conditions page and click on the condition of interest to you.

    To find a Podiatrist or Foot Doctor near you visit our Find a Podiatrist page and click on your country.

    Still have a question about your foot problem, leg pain or you just need some footwear advice?

    Visit our Foot Problems page and ask us a question about your specific problem. We'll do our best to help.

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