Too much pressure: foot corns and calluses

It’s not a subject we might like to talk about, so that’s probably why almost 13,500 Canadians search the internet every month for information on foot corns and calluses. So if you have a corn or callus that is concerning you, you are certainly not alone!

You may feel tempted to try and buy an over-the-counter treatment, but these are rarely effective and can be potentially harmful too. Those treatments designed to “dissolve” corns and calluses contain harsh chemicals. They also do not solve the underlying issues that are causing your corns and calluses in the first place.

IMPORTANT: Never attempt to remove or cut off a corn or callus yourself, as you risk causing a open sore (ulcer) and risk infection of the tissues layers in your feet.

Simply contact your nearest Hunt Footcare clinic to make an appointment.


What are corns and calluses?

Corns and calluses are thick or hard areas of skin that can be painful, tender to the touch, and prone to infection. They form as a protective reaction by your skin to friction or pressure on your feet.


Hard corns are small lumps of skin often seen on the tops or sides of your toes. They have a hard centre, are often surrounded by inflamed skin, and can be painful if pressed down. You can also develop soft corns between your toes which are softer and rubbery to the touch. Small ‘seed’ corns can also form on the bottom of your feet.


Calluses are patches of thick, rough skin, often found on the underside of your feet. They form on pressure points on your feet such as your heels and the balls of your feet. Calluses are generally less painful than corns, but can be prone to fissures (cracks), which can be painful and be prone to infection.


What causes corns and calluses?

Since corns and calluses on your feet are caused by uneven pressure and rubbing of the skin on your foot, they can be caused by a wide range of actions, including:

  • Walking or standing for long periods of time
  • Wearing high heels or pointy-toed shoes
  • Shoes that do not fit properly or are the wrong size
  • Not wearing socks with your shoes
  • Walking barefoot


You can also develop corns and calluses on your hands as a result of manual labour, using hand tools and even playing a musical instrument.

Corns and calluses are not a serious issue in themselves, but they can look unsightly and might be painful. However, if the cause of the rubbing, friction or pressure is not removed, corns and calluses may bleed, weep, or be painful enough to affect everyday walking.

If you have diabetes or issues with your circulation, you should book an appointment with a foot care clinic such as Hunt Footcare so these are treated promptly.


How are corns and calluses treated?

At Hunt Footcare, our foot care team have a three-stage approach

  • We first discuss with you why you have developed corns and calluses
  • We treat any calluses or corns you have
  • We advise on ways to prevent others from appearing


Treatment for corns and calluses may involve pre-softening the skin using patches before our podiatrist gently removes the corn or callus either by abrasion or by cutting away the corn or callus.

After treatment, we may prescribe special soft pads to take the pressure off, and custom orthotics that support your feet correctly all day long.


Have I got a callus or a wart?

Good question! Plantar warts on the soles of your feet may look like a callus with a dark centre. However, plantar warts are caused by a skin infection with the papillomavirus, and are treated in a totally different way. If you are not sure, make an appointment at one of our foot clinics.


Corn and callus treatment by Hunt Footcare

If you are concerned about any corns, calluses, warts or other aspects of your foot health, contact us for an appointment

Published On: March 27, 2024