Calluses and Corns
What are Calluses and Corns?
A corn is a small, round, thickened lesion on the skin of the foot. It usually forms from repeated pressure on the skin, such as the rubbing of a shoe.
A callus is a thickened area of skin on the foot caused by pressure and repeated rubbing, such as from a shoe or sock. The rubbing causes the skin to produce a layer of protective skin (a callus).
Calluses and corns often are not painful, but they can cause pain when you are walking or wearing shoes. And they may make it hard for your feet to fit in your shoes.
Symptoms of Calluses and Corns
You can tell you have a corn, or callus, by the way it looks. A callus is hard, dry, and thick. It may appear grayish or yellowish. It may be less sensitive to the touch than surrounding skin, and it may feel bumpy. A hard corn is also firm and thick. It may have a soft yellow ring with a gray center. A soft corn looks like an open sore.
Diagnoses of Calluses and Corns
Calluses and corns are diagnosed during a physical exam. Your foot and ankle doctor may also ask you questions about your work, your hobbies, or the types of shoes you wear. An x-ray of the foot may be done if your foot and ankle doctor suspects a problem with the bones.
Treatment of Calluses and Corns
Calluses and corns do not need treatment unless they cause pain. If they do cause pain, the treatment goal is to remove the pressure or friction that is causing the callus or corn; this is done by wearing footwear that fits correctly and using doughnut-shaped pads such as moleskins.
People who have calluses and corns are also cautioned against performing “bathroom surgery,” as this can lead to cuts and infection. A foot and ankle surgeon can evaluate the cause of the calluses and recommend the best treatment for your condition.
Surgical Treatment of Calluses and Corns
Surgery is rarely used to treat calluses or corns, but if a bone structure (such as a hammer toe or bunion) is causing a callus or corn, surgery can be used to change or remove the bone structure. A foot and ankle surgeon can tell you if you need surgery and the best course of action to take.
Remember, any type of foot or ankle pain is never normal. A foot and ankle doctor can examine your feet and give you the best course of action.
Please call (626) 447-2184 (Arcadia) or (818) 408-2800 (San Fernando) to speak to a foot and ankle specialist about your foot and/or ankle needs.