Callus and corns (Are corns the same as warts?)

Short answer? No, corns are not the same.  More about warts (Verrucae) in another blog.


What are callus and corns?

Callus both plantar feet
Source: Jmarchn

Callus is thickened keratinous skin, often with a yellowish tinge.

It may feel hard, or waxy, or dry and sometimes forms deep cracks especially around the heel.

Callus is caused by pressure of footwear or from biomechanical factors which result in increased ground pressures to the foot.

Common places to develop callus are outside/top of the little toes, along the side of the big toes, the heels, sole of the forefoot, and over verrucae and scar sites.


What are corns?

Corns are callus which have formed into hard pellets and are usually painful when pressed.


How are callus and corns removed?

Corn dorsal foot
Source: Marionette

It is easy, quick, and painless for a podiatrist to remove callus and corns.

Usually, the relief is immediate. The feet look and feel great afterwards.

There is no down time. Just the feel-good factor..….


Callus and heel cracks

Heel cracks are unsightly and can be very painful.

The good news is that heel cracks (and cracks which form elsewhere on the feet) can usually be painlessly dealt with in clinic.

Often, the cracks can be completely removed to smooth skin which is pain free when weight bearing.

Sometimes additional factors may be involved in cracks on the feet, for example tinea (Athletes Foot) infections.  A podiatric consult will address all concomitant factors, providing recommendations, treatment, and advice.


Are callus, corns, and heel cracks just a cosmetic issue?

Sometimes……..But are usually more than just a cosmetic concerns.

Callus and corns are uncomfortable and the pressures causing them may indicate biomechanical foot issues which could impact negatively further down the line.

In some cases, callus build can be very harmful. There is proven association of foot pressures and callus build in diabetic foot ulcer formation, which is a leading cause of lower limb amputation.


Summary on callus and corns

Podiatrists see a great deal of callus and corns.

As well as removing the callus/corns, we can advise on prevention/management.

We can assess for biomechanical factors, provide orthotic therapy, make footwear and general footcare recommendations.

Final line

Removal of callus and corns and addressing the factors responsible for them, will optimise long term foot health.


Post by: Podiatrist Donna Davies