Callus & Corns


Callus & Corns are areas of hard, thickened skin that develop when the skin is exposed to excessive pressure or friction. They commonly occur on the feet and can cause pain and discomfort when you walk. They may be caused by gait abnormalities or by poorly fitting footwear.


Hard, rough areas of skin that are often yellowish in colour. They can develop in any area where there is an increase in pressure. The most common areas are:

> balls of the foot

> under the metatarsals

> the sides of the foot

> on the toes (under, top or apex)

> around the heel

Calluses are larger than corns and don’t have such a well-defined edge. As skin is thickened, it’s often less sensitive to touch than the surrounding skin. They develop when the skin rubs against something, such as a bone, a shoe or the ground and can be painful or pain free.

Other possible causes of include:

> excessively dry skin

> reduced fatty padding under feet – elderly people have less fatty tissue in their skin


Treating Callus


A sterile blade is used to debride (shave) away the damaged/thickened skin or filed using a water spray drill. As with corns the prime objective is to remove the cause of pressure to the affected area and therefore reducing chance of reoccurrence.



Small circles of thick skin that usually develop on the tops and sides of toes or on the sole of the foot. The cause is again increased pressure and/or friction. They differ from callus as the nucleus is still present which makes it feel like walking on a stone and usually more painful. However, they can occur anywhere.

Corns are often caused by:

> wearing shoes that fit poorly – shoes that are too loose can allow your foot to slide and rub

> certain shoe designs that place excessive pressure on an area of the foot – for example, high-heeled shoes can squeeze the toes

Treating corns

Corns on feet won’t get better unless the cause of the pressure is removed. If the cause isn’t removed (ie: tight shoes), the skin could become thicker and more painful over time. At David Brown Podiatry we enucleate (dig out/remove) the corn with a sterile blade and/or water spraying drill and offer advice on how to prevent them in future.

We do not recommend corn plasters due to the damage they can do to surrounding tissues.

Preventing Callus & Corns:


> Dry your feet thoroughly after washing them and apply a good quality moisturising foot cream (not body lotion).

> Use a pumice stone or foot file regularly to gently remove hard skin. If you use a pumice stone, make sure it dries completely between uses and doesn’t carry bacteria.

> Wear comfortable footwear that fits properly. Always shop for shoes in the afternoon, because your feet swell as the day goes on.


Don’t put up with foot pain as if it’s normal!!

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