Hard Skin: Corns and Calluses

Calluses

These are areas of thickened skin on the feet. They develop as a result of pressure or friction anywhere that the skin rubs against a bone, a shoe or the ground. They are often the result of a bone deformity, inappropriate footwear or due to the style of walking.

Treatment

If the calluses are painful it is advisable to consult a Chiropodist/ Podiatrist. The Podiatrist will be able to advise you as to which treatments are best for the types of calluses you have and consider the reason for their development. The chiropodist will painlessly pare away the hard skin (debride) and offer advice about how to continue caring for your feet at home. Treatments include the use of padding or insoles to reduce pressures and specially designed foot creams to hydrate the extra thick skin on the sole of the feet

Self treatment should only be considered by healthy individuals with minor irritation from small areas of callus by gentle rubbing with a pumice stone or foot file. We would not advise the use of medicated plasters, which contain strong acids, or the home treatment of calluses with anything sharp.

Corns

Most corns are effectively a type of callus, and may be associated with areas of callused skin. They are commonly found on the ball and heel of the foot, and overlying the small joints and tips of the toes. They may also be found between toes.
They develop as a result of intermittent pressure anywhere that the skin rubs against a bone, a shoe or the ground. They are often the result of a bone deformity, inappropriate footwear or due to the style of walking.

There are different types of corns. They differ in regard to their size and location. The most common types are hard and soft corns.

Hard corns: as their name suggests they are hard to the touch and may feel like a small stone in your shoe while walking. They are often uncomfortable.

Soft corn :  these whitish, rubbery corns appear between the toes where the skin is moist. Soft corns are usually very sore when opposing toes move against each other.

Treatment

If you have a corn you will need to seek the help of a chiropodist/ podiatrist. Treatment involves gentle debridement to remove the corn. Your chiropodist and podiatrist will advise on measures to reduce recurrence and appearance of these skin lesions.

Don’t be tempted to cut corns yourself, especially if you are elderly or diabetic, and avoid corn plaster or paints which can damage the healthy tissues surrounding the corn.