What are Calluses and Corns?

A callus refers to a flat diffuse build-up of hard skin which may or may not hurt. A corn is a thicker, more focal area with a central core which usually forms over a bony prominence such as a joint – they are almost always painful.


Corns and calluses are very common. They are caused by abnormal pressure or friction on the foot, the body’s natural response to this change in pressure is to build up a hard layer of skin to protect the underlying tissues.

Common causes of corns and callus include footwear that is too small or tight, toe abnormalities such as clawed or hammer toes, bony prominence’s such as bunions and poor foot mechanics when walking or running. Problems occur when the pressure continues as the skin keeps thickening to protect the area and eventually becomes painful.


Corns and Verrucae can have a very similar appearance, a good way to differentiate between them is by using the squeeze test. Verrucae hurt to squeeze rather than push, corns hurt to push rather than squeeze.






Be wary of over the counter remedies such as corn plastersThese contain acid that help to ‘eat away’ the corn however, the acid cannot tell the difference between a corn and normal skin and it will eat away whatever you put it on. Use of these types of remedies can be very risky in those with poor circulation or diabetes and is not recommended. Do not try to cut away corns and calluses yourself, they can be removed safely and painlessly by a podiatrist with immediate relief.

What can we do?

We can remove corns and calluses and provide indicative advice on why abnormal pressure may be occurring. Book in a nail & skin appointment with us now.