Why Do Corns and Calluses Form? How You Can Prevent them and What is the Treatment?

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Why Do Corns and Calluses Form? How You Can Prevent them and What is the Treatment?

corn callus

Corns and calluses are among the commonest foot conditions that the vast majority of adults suffer from at some stage during their lifetime. Although often categorized as one and the same, in reality, corns and calluses are distinct foot conditions. As much as they are intermittently painful, they cause annoyance and are unsightly. While treatment for corns and calluses is fairly simple the tricky part is preventing their development, to begin with.

People are often surprised by the fact that foot orthotics can actually prevent corns and calluses from occurring. The fact though is that treatment of specific biomechanical conditions would result in alleviating one of the potent causes of corns and calluses.

How Corns and Calluses are Different

Corns are areas of a painful, hard lump of dead skin relatively smaller, often circular in shape. These are a ‘hard’ lump of dead skin or soft, waxy and whitish appearing formations manifesting on top, sides or between toes. ‘Seed’ corns are found on the ball of the foot infrequently. Similar to a band of small sores, they frequently result in sharp pain, comparable to a splinter. If the treatment is inadequate or inappropriate infection may ensue leading to pus or clear fluid leaking.

Calluses are relatively harder skin formations in larger areas. Calluses don’t have a definite shape unlike corns usually spreading across the ball as well as the heel of the foot at times.


Usually, corns and calluses are the outcomes of repeated friction. They may also form when specific areas of one’s feet are under pressure. The two key causes of friction are underlying foot deformity or abnormality or congenital bone deformity like hammertoe.

Ill-fitting or improper shoes

Despite the risk of anyone being affected by these painful foot disorders, research in this area for some odd reason has revealed that women in particular as a gender are at far greater risk of developing calluses; the reason being women putting on high heels resulting in excessive pressure continuously on the balls of foot.  There is an equal likelihood of corns and calluses developing among the elderly as a result of dwindling fatty tissues and skin elasticity.


The preventive measures to be undertaken are quite simple. As and when one is aware or suspects one might have a foot deformity that may lead to corns and calluses developing one ought to consult a registered podiatrist who can recommend special foam insoles or wedges altering the position of one’s foot while one has put on one’s footwear avoiding pressure or rubbing unnecessarily.

If one does not have any pre-existing health issues, one could follow these easy steps for reducing the likelihood of corns and calluses developing:

Shoes should fit: One’s feet are swollen in the daytime, therefore one ought to shop for footwear during the afternoon when one’s feet would be the right size

Put on comfortable socks: Putting on shoes sans socks or putting on overly tight socks could result in increased friction which can be excruciatingly painful

High heels are a no-no: The awkward angle that one’s feet have to be pushed into one’s high heels r causes calluses and foot pain and ought to be avoided at all costs.


To seek professional medical advice is vital as and when needed. Besides, standard foot care regimen like soaking tired feet in lukewarm water, removing dry skin with a pumice stone and keeping feet moisturized with rehydration foot creams, are all treatments for corns and calluses that ought to be nipped in the bud.

Consulting a podiatrist regularly would result in preventing corns and calluses altogether. Podiatrists remove dry skin painlessly during a medical pedicure so that the foot looks nice and clean. Besides, if corns and calluses are found on or between the toes, a toe separator could be helpful too.

Inserting felt pads or custom made insoles or orthotics can be relieving as the pressure points causing friction resulting in corns and calluses would be fewer and therefore the condition would not aggravate.  Corns and calluses can be cured in no time at all if the patient gets relief from pressure and constant friction. Beyond treatment for corns and calluses, custom orthotics can even prevent corns recurring. Podiatrists are adept at spotting signs of corns forming at an early stage as well.

Putting on shoes that cause irritation to feet or toes ought to be avoided. Rather shoes with a good fit in general without any friction or pressure points; the sole’s cushioning is good along with broad toe boxes ideally ought to be put on. Sole stretchers or toe protectors ought to be tried with uncomfortable shoes that one may not want to part with. High heels or dress shoes should not be kept on for a protracted period of time. Cushions and pads could be used for reducing friction and pressure points as well.

To know more about Corns and Calluses, book an appointment at Curafoot Clinic today.

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