Corns and calluses are basically the same. Corns occur on the top of the toes, while calluses form on the bottom on the foot. In both cases, they are the body’s way of protecting itself.  In areas that endure a lot of pressure, the skin thickens and builds up hard, dead skin to toughen the area and prevent it from developing a blister, which can lead to infection. Poor fitting shoes, flat feet, bone spurs or hammer toes can all cause a corn or callus.

Both can be painful and are a sign of an underlying problem. In some cases, changing your shoes is a quick fix.  However, if different shoes don’t do the trick, you should have one of our doctors evaluate what’s causing it. You need to know what it is. There are various lesions on the foot, including moles, warts – and even a few rare cancerous growths – that look similar.  It’s best to have a foot doctor examine and identify any growth on your foot.

You may be tempted to treat corns and calluses on your own.  Cushions and various soft pads may provide relief from shoe pressure over the toes.  But be careful of anything “medicated”. Our doctors warn against using this type of product or corn pad since they almost always contain a strong acid which does not know the difference between the bad and good skin. That means they can lead to a chemical burn or deep open sores which can become infected. A callous file or pumice stone is also a tempting choice; however, this tends to leave a rough skin surface, and its easy to overdo it and damage the skin leaving it open to possible sores and infection.

If you are living with diabetes, have your feet checked by a doctor.  Do NOT attempt any type of self-treatment, self-medication or home remedy.  A poorly treated problem can lead to infection with serious and lasting effects.